Pulp Fiction discussion

43 views
Group Reads > June 2018 - The Winter of Frankie Machine

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Aah! This sounds like a nice beach read - an ex-surf bum runs a bait shop in San Diego. Why, that sounds almost idyllic . . .

Of course, Frankie is a "retired" hit man, and I think we all know from experience reading lots of books that that's one occupation that you never really retire from . . .

Anyway, it looks like Frankie will be attempting to outrun his past, while we get to sit back with our Mai Tais and our Margaritas, and enjoy the show.

Why, yes . . . I do like Pina Coladas and gettin' caught in the rain.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 354 comments I'm in. But I won't be able to start reading for another week or so while I finish up some other books.


message 3: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
I was happy that this won because I found a cheap copy at Goodwill last summer. BUT, yesterday when I took it off the shelf to add to my bedside stack, I noticed a rather unpleasant sour milk smell emanating from the book. Looks like I'll either need to buy another copy, or read it outdoors where the odor is less noticeable.

Sometimes it pays to buy a nice, new, unscented copy.


message 4: by Algernon (Darth Anyan), Hard-Boiled (new)

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 574 comments Mod
I've been meaning to read this since it was first nominated for the group read a few years back. I also plan to start it in a week or so.


message 5: by Girard (last edited Jun 01, 2018 08:44PM) (new)

Girard Bowe | 56 comments Well, I got ahead in my reading, and have already knocked out Frankie. If you liked Winslow's Power of the Dog & Cartel (both of which I loved), you won't be disappointed. It worked in nicely with my run of mob books. It started with James Comey, who mentioned Sammy Gravano, so that took me to Underboss by Peter Maas - great read. Then on to Gaspipe by Philip Carlo, about Anthony Casso - worth reading if you're into mob books. Then on to Frankie Machine. I'll be looking up other older Winslows I have yet to read. For something completely different, I'm now reading House on Fire about Gamble, Huff, Bell and the Philadelphia soul scene.


message 6: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Girard wrote: "It started with James Comey, who mentioned Sammy Gravano, so that took me to Underboss by Peter Maas - great read. Then on to Gaspipe by Philip Carlo, about Anthony Casso - worth reading if you're into mob books. Then on to Frankie Machine."

It's always interesting how one book leads to another book, then to another one, and our reading list grows and grows.


message 7: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence | 204 comments Ive got my copy from the library. It’s funny, this one didn’t move me at all and I did not vote for it. Now that I’ve begun reading it, I’m impressed.


message 8: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 67 comments I've only read chapter 1, but I loved the writing. Winslow uses the third person present tense so skillfully. It allows to him to write in pretty much the first person yet also to narrate more distantly, and the flashbacks in past tense add real texture. The first chapter really is a masterclass in style.


message 9: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Geoff wrote: "I've only read chapter 1, but I loved the writing. Winslow uses the third person present tense so skillfully. It allows to him to write in pretty much the first person yet also to narrate more dist..."

Lawrence wrote: "Ive got my copy from the library. It’s funny, this one didn’t move me at all and I did not vote for it. Now that I’ve begun reading it, I’m impressed."

I'm enjoying this as well. The book's so good, I don't really even notice "the smell" anymore.


message 10: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 67 comments Melki wrote: "I don't really even notice "the smell" anymore. "

You should go digital - it's sterile, as all art should be.


message 11: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Geoff wrote: "You should go digital - it's sterile, as all art should be."

But then I'd have one less book on my shelves to impress all my friends.


message 12: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence | 204 comments Just finished and enjoyed it much more than I expected. Though it's a little early for comments i'll just say that Winslow shows us that it's really difficult to leave the family.


message 13: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 404 comments I just started listening to this one this morning and am enjoying it. His descriptions of San Diego remind me of my old Navy days.


message 14: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 404 comments Melki wrote: "Geoff wrote: "You should go digital - it's sterile, as all art should be."

But then I'd have one less book on my shelves to impress all my friends."


And twenty fewer boxes to haul the next time you move.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 354 comments I just started this one last night and read the first couple chapters. I really like it so far. Great writing even though the plot hasn't really started yet.


message 16: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Tom wrote: "And twenty fewer boxes to haul the next time you move. "

I'm never moving again. They'll carry me out of my current residence in a box. Or, a garbage bag, depending on how long it takes them to discover the body.


message 17: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence | 204 comments "Or, a garbage bag, depending on how long it takes them to discover the body. "

Melki, you don't happen to have Collyer blood in you, do you?


message 18: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Lawrence wrote: ""Or, a garbage bag, depending on how long it takes them to discover the body. "

Melki, you don't happen to have Collyer blood in you, do you?"


I'm pretty sure there's some running in my family's genetic makeup, as my parents, and two grandfathers all had hoarding tendencies, HOWEVER . . . I have not yet reached the "goat path" stage.


message 19: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (stephend) Don Winslow is one of my favorite writers these days. This one is a great book. Frankie is easy to root for and I loved the colorful mobsters with even more colorful names he runs up against. The descriptions of San Diego and its history are travelogue worthy.


message 20: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne  | 12 comments Melki wrote: "I was happy that this won because I found a cheap copy at Goodwill last summer. BUT, yesterday when I took it off the shelf to add to my bedside stack, I noticed a rather unpleasant sour milk smell..."

Well I took my copy out of the library and found a smashed bug on one page and a smear of what I hope was chocolate on another. Maybe it does pay to buy new. Loved the book though!


message 21: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 404 comments I'm really loving this. It's not every day that I find myself rooting for the hit man.


message 22: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
Jeanne wrote: "Well I took my copy out of the library and found a smashed bug on one page and a smear of what I hope was chocolate on another. Maybe it does pay to buy new. Loved the book though!"

I found a piece of paper in the back of the book where a girl named Emily K. wrote down a list of words she'd never encountered before, then the definitions. Among her vocab words: copacetic, notoriety, bacchanalia, extortion, and lox.

I'm guessing this book was quite the learning experience for her.


message 23: by Girard (new)

Girard Bowe | 56 comments It's my contention that some of the pulp fiction we love so much is written better, and at a higher level, than some of today's popular crime fiction. The vocabulary is one measure.


message 24: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 404 comments Girard wrote: "It's my contention that some of the pulp fiction we love so much is written better, and at a higher level, than some of today's popular crime fiction. The vocabulary is one measure."

Absolutely! This was my first Winslow and now I am going to have to read more. Does anyone have any recommendations?


message 25: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (stephend) Tom wrote: "Does anyone have any recommendations? "

My personal favorite is The Dawn Patrol. I also have a huge like for California Fire and Life.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 354 comments Tom wrote: "This was my first Winslow and now I am going to have to read more. Does anyone have any recommendations?"

I read Savages last year and liked it a lot.


message 27: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 881 comments Mod
I gotta admit to avoiding Winslow for so long because of the California/surfing angle, but that was such a small part of the book. Now I have a big case of the regrets. I'm ordering more of the man's books right now.


message 28: by Girard (last edited Jun 19, 2018 04:12PM) (new)

Girard Bowe | 56 comments Winslow's 3 latest are great: Power of the Dog and The Cartel, 2 connected novels about drug trafficking, and The Force, a really good story about good cops gone bad. And on the subject of drug trafficking, I can also highly recommend The Underground Empire, a thousand page non-fiction book about the work of an obscure gov't agency, Centac. The book details 3 cases, and reads like a thriller. OOPS - should have mentioned that James Mills wrote Underground Empire. Sorry 'bout that, chief!


message 29: by Algernon (Darth Anyan), Hard-Boiled (new)

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 574 comments Mod
I read about a third of the way through, and I really liked the introduction of Franky's busy day, followed by the intense action section, but now I'm a little bogged down in flashbacks. I'm sure it will pick up soon and I'll be able to finish before the end of the month.

I really like the style, with a small peeve about abusing acronyms


message 30: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Smith (oncewewerefiction) | 67 comments Funny you should say that Algernon, I was going to say that I think Winslow does beginnings exceptionally well, and that when I read The Power of the Dog, I didn't feel that the amazing standard of the start was maintained, and I agree with you that the same is the case here.

The middle I agree didn't all feel as though it were driving the narrative, and, having finally finished, I felt a little disappointed by the ending which kind of rattled through from a near standing start in the last 10%.

I really liked it, but I'm not aching to read another just yet.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 354 comments I finally finished this one - the delay has nothing to do with the quality of the book but is more about how insane my schedule has been the last few months. I really enjoyed the book although it's worth noting that, other than the San Diego setting, there's nothing really new here. Every character is pretty much a mafia story stereotype, every situation has pretty much been done before. It's not a major gripe since I'm a fan of these types of stories and Winslow is an entertaining writer, but it has to be said that it wasn't wholly original. I did enjoy how Winslow wove in some parts of the story that were related to real-life situations, such as the kidnapping of Danielle van Dam whose story in real life unfortunately didn't end as well as the story of Carly Mack in the book.


back to top