Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Robert Bloch; Terrill Lankford
"This is a thread that runs through all of my mystery/suspense fiction," Bloch has pointed out. "The terrible inability to understand the irrational behavior of certain human beings, what is it that impels that sometime senseless sadistic cruelty, and I tried to familiarize myself with it because I can recognize that, deep down within, there are certain of those aspects within myself which I probably manage to exorcise by way of the typewriter."
Last night and this afternoon I read The Will To Kill by Robert Bloch. When you pair this one with his novel The Kidnapper you discover that in his own quiet way Bloch was writing horrorific noir fiction way back in the mid-Fifties, the same kind of fiction so much in vogue today. While I've seen both novels compared to Jim Thompson and Cornell Woolrich, Bloch told me once that he'd never read Thompson, though he readily acknowledged the Woolrich influence. But these two short books are unique in voice and storyline and are, in some respects, two sides of the same story--the man who fears he's a killer and the man who revels in being a killer. They're both claustrophobic as hell. You're completely inside the mind of the man narrating the stories. The Kidnapper should be easy to find. It was reprinted in the late eighties by Tor. Will is hard to come by but well worth the search.
TERRILL LANKFORD HAS POSTED A fine FOLLOW UP TO HIS PREVIOUS MICHAEL CONNELLY VIDEO