Teaser Tuesdays: The Mad and the Bad by Jean-Patrick Manchette

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

mad and bad

The Mad and the Bad exemplifies “hard-boiled.” It is both spare and opulent, and very bloody and French.

Stiff-backed, glass in hand, he left through the side-door, and Julie hesitated for a moment before pouring herself a brandy which she downed, standing, in a single gulp, reminded of a time when, freezing cold at dawn, she would stand at a bar and wash down black coffee with four shots of calvados at the start of a day of wandering, tears, fatigue, and despair.

I am not always pleased by that many clauses (you know I prefer semicolons to commas!) but I like this lengthy sentence and its evocations. Freezing cold at dawn with black coffee and booze, tears and despair? It’s almost a cartoon of noir. Almost.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

2 Responses

  1. I hate to think what Ernest Hemingway would read like if you and your ilk with their schoolmarmish rules and tin ears had been let loose on him by the copyediting police!

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