Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Lines Second Thoughts — The Last Good Kiss



First Lines Second Thoughts is a look at the first lines of well known literary works.
On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry? Today we revisit The Last Good Kiss. Written by James Crumley. Published in 1978.

When I finally caught up
with Abraham Trahearne,
he was drinking beer
with an alcoholic bulldog
named Fireball Roberts
in a ramshackle joint
just outside of Sonoma, California,
drinking the heart right out of
a fine spring afternoon.  

— James Crumley

Fame and fortune never found James Crumley (1939-2008). Respected by his peers and an influence upon them, Crumley was considered a cross between Hunter S Thompson and Raymond Chandler for his writing style that changed the detective novel in the 1970s. His private investigator, C.W. Sughrue, also appears in The Mexican Tree Duck and The Right Madness. The Last Good Kiss is considered one of the most influential crime novels of the 20th century.