Gun in Cheek

by Bill Pronzini



Mysterious Press, 1987. Trade sized paperback, 264 pages. This book is a real hoot! The premise is that people quote good lines from good books all the time. But there are lots and lots more bad books than there are good books. This is a collection of the worst lines from bad books (all mysteries). And some are from great authors at their not-so-best: "He poured himself a drink and counted the money. It came to ten thousand even, mostly in fifties and twenty-fives." (Brett Halliday, The Violent World of Michael Shayne)






Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Publishers, New York. 1982. Hardcover in dust jacket. 264 pages. (5 X 8). Introduction by Ed McBain. Pronzini provides a number of chapters on different authors and shows some of the silly, poor, and ridiculous language used in mystery writing. Hardbacks, paperbacks, and magazines from all periods are covered. Some of the writing examples are funny, while other sections have to do with the way women and ethnic groups were described and treated. Similar to the book by Gaiman and Newman, but Pronzini was first. Recommended.


(Hardcover info and scan courtesy of Bob Gaines)