Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 27 (Ted Pelton)

Malcom & Jack
Pelton, Ted
Malcom & Jack and Other Famous American Criminals

Given to me by the author.

Not sure when I first met Ted Pelton, but I do remember hearing him read from this novel while he was writing it. Eventually our paths in the Buffalo literary world just crossed and we became friends. He's been an important presence on the literary scen here for a long time. An English Professor at Medaille College, he runs a reading series over there. But his biggest contribution has been his small press, Starcherone (that's pronounced "Start Your Own," in case you were wondering) Books. They publish innovative fiction and have been doing so for about a decade or so.

I remember when Lori and I bought our first house and were spending a good portion of each weekend at Home Depot. Ted was also working on a house with his then-partner. We used to run into him in the aisles there and talk about what we were each working on in our new homes. It was always a little strange, but also something of a relief, to find myself standing in the middle of a big box store talking about drywall with another writer.

from Malcom & Jack

New York City is a forties town. 

Arriving from elsewhere, something happens, rare in an American city. Yes, New York sizzles with an electric current of the now; nonetheless, you find yourself transported back a lifetime ago, when things were wilder, more unsure in certain ways than they are today. To when war broadcasts came over the radio, silencing rooms where dancers had just been swinging to big band. The rumbling conga drums, an echo of blaring brass, a veneer of loud, innocent fun. Spiffed-up and shiny, disguising the fact that it could all come suddenly to a stop, that death could enter the apartment or ballroom at any moment. 

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