Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bringing Bardin Back To Life

Salvador Dali on the cover, a ground-shaking introduction by Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn etc.) quoting the likes of Greil Marcus (whose latest book is the critically acclaimed The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice) -- who is this guy John Franklin Bardin anyway, and why is everyone making such a fuss?

Bardin (1916-1981) wrote ten psychological crime novels, no doubt influenced by early tragedies -- deaths of close relatives; a mother's increasing mental illness. But he also worked for an advertising agency and edited popular magazines.

The Deadly Percheron, championed back into print by Lethem, is, as he writes, "a combination of paranoia and amnesia... but the tone is anything but. Instead, the book comes off like a brisk blend of Damon Runyon and The Twilight Zone."

Many thanks to Millipede Press for another handsome restoration.