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Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat: The Harry Fannin…

por David Markson

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1123189,560 (3.58)1 / 9
Before achieving critical acclaim as a novelist, David Markson paid the rent by writing several crime novels, including two featuring the private detective Harry Fannin. Together here in one volume, these works are now available to a new generation of readers. InEpitaph for a Tramp, Fannin isn't called out to investigate a murder -- it happens on his doorstop. In the sweltering heat of a New York August night, he answers the buzzer at his door to find his promiscuous ex-wife dying from a knife wound. To find her killer, Fannin plies his trade with classic hard-boiled aplomb. In the second novel,Epitaph for a Dead Beat, Fannin finds himself knee-deep in murder among the beatniks and bohemians of the early 1960s, where blood seems to flow as readily as cheap Chianti. Intricately plotted and rife with wisecracks, David Markson offers suspenseful and literary crime novels.… (mais)
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If you gobble up hardboiled tales like they are Halloween candy, you'll chomp this one to bits. Yes, it is purposefully filled with all the cliches about a down on his luck PI who is holding a torch for an ex who descended into a downward spiral of trampiness and chasing the next high. But, it is simply a terrific read. Fannin slings the one liners like any great PI and stays just friendly enough with the police to stay out of the clink - barely. Cathy is the one who slipped through his fingers, but she stumbled back into his life, desperately seeking his help. She's still so lovely that poor Harry can't even think straight. And now she's brought danger and knives and tough punks into Fannin's life.
This book is just plain old fashioned over the top hardboiled PI fun. Every page is an absolute joy to read.

"Epitaph For A Deadbeat" is the second novel in this double feature. It's the "B" side. It's a fun read, but not quite the story "Tramp" is. This one, too, features wisecracking PI Harry Fannin and some violent murders. Here, Fannin walks into the wrong bar and the trouble starts from there. This one is all about the beatniks and their crazy lifestyle in Greenwich Village. They are all nutty want-to-be poets and trampy women floating in a haze from bed to bed. Fannin doesn't exactly approve of the Beats and what goes on in the Village.

Together, the two stories are fun, good, and worthwhile. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
From the author of the wonderful and strange modern classics 'Wittgenstein's Mistress' and 'This is Not a Novel' comes a re-issue of some early work written "to pay the rent" in the late 50s. These are straight beatnik-pulp-noir detective stories with lots of booze, tough talk, broads, and touches of high brow literary references (Ginsberg! Gaddis!) Get your kicks with the cook kids! -Steve
2 vote skylightbooks | Feb 6, 2008 |
"... there was enough ripe womanhood in her bare arms alone to melt nonferrous metals." These novels are full of phrases like that. Entertaining and fun to read. Recommended.
1 vote etrainer | May 16, 2007 |
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EPITAPH FOR A DEAD BEAT:

"They are very Christlike."

     Jack Kerouac

"They are scum"

     Somerset Maugham

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EPITAPH FOR A TRAMP: You know how hot the nights can get in New York in August, when everybody suffers—like the vagrants in the doorways along third Avenue without ice for their muscatel?

EPITAPH FOR A DEAD BEAT: It is a small, not quite square office behind a smaller reception room on the fourth floor of a Paleozoic brick building on Lexington Avenue.
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Before achieving critical acclaim as a novelist, David Markson paid the rent by writing several crime novels, including two featuring the private detective Harry Fannin. Together here in one volume, these works are now available to a new generation of readers. InEpitaph for a Tramp, Fannin isn't called out to investigate a murder -- it happens on his doorstop. In the sweltering heat of a New York August night, he answers the buzzer at his door to find his promiscuous ex-wife dying from a knife wound. To find her killer, Fannin plies his trade with classic hard-boiled aplomb. In the second novel,Epitaph for a Dead Beat, Fannin finds himself knee-deep in murder among the beatniks and bohemians of the early 1960s, where blood seems to flow as readily as cheap Chianti. Intricately plotted and rife with wisecracks, David Markson offers suspenseful and literary crime novels.

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