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Black Wings Has My Angel
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Group Reads > April 2018 - Black Wings Has My Angel

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message 1: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melki | 834 comments Mod
It's about time we read this noir crime classic by Elliot Chaze. Originally published in 1953, the book has been described as a "flawless heist novel." A French film adaptation was made in 1990. A new film adaptation, to star Tom Hiddleston and Anna Paquin, was in the works in 2012 but was postponed. (I'm not crazy about that casting, so perhaps it's for the best.)

Here are two glowing reviews:
https://www.npr.org/2016/01/23/463226...
http://www.vulture.com/2016/01/black-...

And a bit about Elliott Chaze:
https://www.mswritersandmusicians.com...
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...

Enjoy!


message 2: by Jay (last edited Apr 01, 2018 09:05AM) (new)

Jay Gertzman | 263 comments Thanks, I agree. someone called the book the quintessential paperback original crime novel. Chaze was one of the first, if not the first, journalist to write about the cancer caused by commercial cigarettes. Many newspapers refused to run it, due to the fear of losing advertisements. The year, if I remember rightly, was 1939.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 314 comments I'll be starting this one in about a week when I finish I, the Jury.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 314 comments Started this one yesterday. Oh my goodness this is some good writing.


Sara (saraelizabeth11) | 45 comments Phenomenal writing! I'm savoring every drop.


message 6: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melki | 834 comments Mod
I finished this one late last month. I'm thinking that after the 15th of the month, I'll post the warning about discussion may include spoilers, and we can have at it.


Franky | 395 comments I probably won't get done by the 15th (I hate when life gets in the way of reading) but I just started today and really love the writing. Such attention to detail, especially just in that opening scene. Anyhow, I'll try to keep up with the posts.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 314 comments Sara wrote: "Phenomenal writing! I'm savoring every drop."

Amen. This one could end up being an all time favorite. It hooked me from the first page.


message 9: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 398 comments Randy wrote: "Sara wrote: "Phenomenal writing! I'm savoring every drop."

Amen. This one could end up being an all time favorite. It hooked me from the first page."


It'll do that. I moved to Colorado shortly after the time the events in the book took place and it is so easy to visualize the events there that it is almost scary.


Lawrence | 186 comments I’m only partway into this wonderful book. There is a reference to the tune “If you’ve Got The Money, Honey” playing on the car radio. For those not familiar with the song, here’s a YouTube link to the original by Lefty Frizzel (though I prefer the Willie Nelson cover).

https://youtu.be/dwyGS-CZ0qA


message 11: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melki | 834 comments Mod
Lawrence wrote: "I’m only partway into this wonderful book. There is a reference to the tune “If you’ve Got The Money, Honey” playing on the car radio. For those not familiar with the song, here’s a YouTube link to..."

It makes an excellent refrain for this book.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 314 comments Lawrence wrote: "I’m only partway into this wonderful book. There is a reference to the tune “If you’ve Got The Money, Honey” playing on the car radio. For those not familiar with the song, here’s a YouTube link to..."

Thanks for posting that. I was going to look it up but hadn't gotten around to it.


message 13: by Franky (last edited Apr 13, 2018 06:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Franky | 395 comments I like the song reference too Lawrence, and totally agree that it is so fitting for these two characters, Melki.

I'm started reading this a day or two ago but am working through it quickly and it is really engaging and fast moving,. So much so that I took my Kindle to work because I wanted to sneak some reading in, and like a dummy, I left it there, so it will sit there until Monday.

So, does anyone know if there is a full text (non-abridged version) of Black Wings online? I want to keep reading this weekend.


Christopher (Donut) | 166 comments Franky wrote: "I like the song reference too Lawrence, and totally agree that it is so fitting for these two characters, Melki.

I'm started reading this a day or two ago but am working through it quickly and it..."


If you have it on Kindle, you can read it with the Kindle app on your PC..


message 15: by Melki, Femme Fatale (last edited Apr 15, 2018 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melki | 834 comments Mod
NOTE: As of today, comments may contain spoilers

If you have not yet finished reading the book, you may want to refrain from reading any further posts until you catch up.

If you have finished, by golly, let 'er rip!


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 314 comments I finished this one while traveling with my daughter's basketball team over the weekend. I loved it and gave it 5 stars. It might be the "perfect" noir: great Hemingway-esque prose, well-defined doomed characters who love each other in a dangerous relationship, and an interesting heist with unique ideas. It's a keeper.


message 17: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara (saraelizabeth11) | 45 comments Randy wrote: "It might be the "perfect" noir..."

Agreed.


message 18: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melki | 834 comments Mod
My favorite bits of this novel were the who's-screwing-who parts, like when Tim attempts to leave Virginia behind, only to discover that she's got all the money. I was frankly a little disappointed when that stuff ended and they got together for real.


message 19: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mathews | 398 comments I enjoyed the scenes in Colorado best. I did some election polling work for the Denver Post and the scene with the reporters at the fit perfectly with my recollection. I also remember seeing a mine shaft in Cripple Creek that I swear must be the one Chaze had in mind when he wrote the story.


message 20: by Algernon (Darth Anyan), Hard-Boiled (new) - rated it 5 stars

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 541 comments Mod
I managed to start it just in time for April, and so far I love it, especially the part about loving the freedom of the mountains after prison (I got as far as the Cripple Creek camping for now)


Lawrence | 186 comments I finished this last night. What a lush book. There are a number of passages I would love to quote, but wouldn't know where to start.

Quite the opposite of Spillane.


message 22: by Jay (new)

Jay Gertzman | 263 comments That final scene, with the “angel” cascading screaming is all the more scary b/c it was symbolic. Hell is that kind of watery hole. The narrator has to live with the hell of that memory. . The beating the cops give him is nothing in contrast to that.


message 23: by Franky (last edited May 12, 2018 06:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Franky | 395 comments Jay wrote: "That final scene, with the “angel” cascading screaming is all the more scary b/c it was symbolic. Hell is that kind of watery hole. The narrator has to live with the hell of that memory. . The beat..."

Great point, Jay about that final scene. Both literal and symbolic in one moment.

I just finished last night, and wow, I'm going to have to think about this one. It was very well written and so many brilliant aspects of noir are encompassed and so many angles to discuss that one really doesn't know where to start...I'm thinking, though, that the title of the novel is so dripping with symbolism... I'll add a few more comments once I think a little more about it...

I'm just bummed that I got so busy that I didn't finish until now and missed the parts of the discussion earlier. (I hate when things get in the way of reading, don't you?)


message 24: by ALLEN (new)

ALLEN | 153 comments Here's another "contendah" for my Wish List!
Melki, I am grateful to you for championing this novel.


message 25: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melki | 834 comments Mod
ALLEN wrote: "Here's another "contendah" for my Wish List!
Melki, I am grateful to you for championing this novel."


Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the first.


message 26: by ALLEN (new)

ALLEN | 153 comments Melki wrote: "ALLEN wrote: "Here's another "contendah" for my Wish List!
Melki, I am grateful to you for championing this novel."

Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the first."


Undoubtedly many people have -- but you're the first GR Refugee or Friend I know who did -- and very vividly if you don't mind my saying so.


message 27: by William (last edited May 12, 2018 01:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

William The rain beat against the windows and against the tin roof of the hotel. It came down in hissing roars, then in whispers, then in loud shishes like sandpaper rubbed against wood. She drank the second glassful, climbed off the bed and began undressing, and then we were together, the cheap naked bulb still blazing down on the bed.

Thinking back, I remember the stupidest things; the way there was a taut crease just above her hips, in the small of her back. The way she smelled like a baby's breath, a sweet barely there smell that retreated and retreated, so that no matter how close you got to it you weren't sure it was there. The brown speckles in the lavender-gray eyes, floating very close to the surface when I kissed her, the eyes wide open and aware. But not caring. The eyes of a gourmet offered a stale chunk of bread, using it of necessity but not tasting it any more than necessary.

I remember getting up and coming back to her, and of throwing a shoe at the light bulb, later, when the whisky was gone. I remember the smell of rain-darkness in the room and her telling me I'd cut my feet on the light-bulb glass on the floor. And how she said I was no better than a tramp myself, that I made love to the cadence of the raingusts on the roof, and it was true I was doing just that, but it seemed the natural thing then. And I felt so marvelously clean and soaped and so in tune with the whole damned universe that I had the feeling I could have clouded up and rained and lightninged myself, and blown that cheese-colored room to smithereens.


My Review


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Books mentioned in this topic

I, the Jury (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Elliot Chaze (other topics)