Tag Archives: Elmore Leonard

‘The novel is about making believe your world is real’: an interview with Peter Temple

The death of Peter Temple at the age 71 has robbed Australia of what is undeniably one of its most influential crime writers. His Jack Irish novels were made into a popular television show by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Broken Shore, which won the coveted British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award in 2007 – the first Australian author to do so – and Truth, awarded the Miles Franklin in 2010, were significant works of local crime fiction that, arguably, helped usher in the popularity of literary crime fiction in Australia.

David Honeybone, former editor of the influential hard copy magazine, Crime Factory [the precursor to the on-line magazine which I helped edit for a number of years until it recently ceased production], and a fan of Temple’s work, interviewed the author for issue 2 of the magazine in 2010. As a tribute, Honeybone generously shared his interview, in which Temple recalls his national service in the South African Defence Force, his literary influences, the challenges of translating his uniquely Australian dialogue into other languages, and what degree of realism a crime author should be aspiring to in their work.

Peter Temple is a South African by birth and an Australian by choice. A former journalist, he is one of Australia’s most successful crime writers, having five times won the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia’s Ned Kelly Award.Read more

The marathon man: 6 great roles of Roy Scheider

Scheider 1I’ve been a long time fan of American actor Roy Scheider. But it was only after a recent viewing of his performance in the Alan J Pakula’s 1971 film, Klute, I realised despite having seen and liked him in a number of films I knew very little about his overall career.

I recently reviewed Klute on this site here, so I won’t go into further detail about the film except to say that Scheider is great as Bree Daniel’s former pimp, Frank Ligourin. His is not a large role, just one or two short scenes, but his presence elevates the entire movie and gives it an additional layer of malevolence. That’s Scheider in every movie I’ve seen him in. He elevates and heightens what’s already present.

Scheider could act and had a great presence, his ropey, perpetually suntanned body and his slightly askew, angular face with the broken nose, a legacy of his time boxing in New Jersey’s Diamond Golden Gloves Competition.The first time I can remember seeing him was when my parents took me to see Steve Speilberg’s Jaws upon its release in 1975. That was probably his best-known role but it was just one among many. He got his start in television and gradually moved into the big screen.… Read more

Book review: The Devil All the Time and other summer reading pleasures

No matter how stressful the Christmas/New Year period is (and mine has been pretty stressful for reasons I won’t go into here) there’s always the chance to read.

This year’s been no exception. I managed to knock off several books I’ve wanted to read for a while.

The first was Dead Women of Juarez by Sam Hawken. This was a great hardboiled read, especially for a first novel. I particular admire the author for having the guts to set the story amid the real life horror story in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, where since 1992 as many as 5,000 women have been murdered and no one has been brought to justice. I’ve done a longer review of Dead Women for Crime Fiction Lover and will post it to this site next week.

Another author I’ve been wanted to check out is Vicki Hendricks, who writes erotic noir fiction set in Miami. Her 2007 book, Cruel Poetry, took me back to the mid-nineties when Miami-based crime fiction was huge. The city’s crime rate was through the roof, Elmore Leonard was based there and writers like Carl Hiaason and Edna Buchanan were best sellers.

This book is very different to the other Miami crime novels I can remember reading, in a good way.… Read more