Well, not quite. Scott Frank’s adaptation of A Walk Among the Tombstones, starring Liam Neeson as Matthew Scudder, won’t hit theaters until September 19. But Universal has just released AWATT’s poster and trailer, and if the poster makes you want to watch the trailer, well, how hard is that? Oh, go ahead, click on the link and watch the thing. Watch it twice if you want. I’ll still be here when you’re finished…
Neat, huh? I saw a final cut of the film six months ago, and loved it. Liam is Matthew Scudder; he embodies the role perfectly, and his screen presence is commanding. Scott’s script is true to the spirit of the novel while incorporating changes that enable it to work on the screen. (And he’s retained a great deal of my dialogue, and it’s a treat to hear those lines come out of Liam’s mouth.)
Can the Pride of Ballymena play a bred-in-the-bone New Yorker like Matt? Duh. First of all, the man’s a consummate actor. If he was convincing as Oskar Schindler, why should Scudder pose a problem? More to the point, Liam is an American citizen, and a New York resident; he’s even written Op-Ed pieces arguing forcefully (there’s a surprise) for the continuing presence of carriage horses in Central Park.
You can’t see the film until 9/19 (9/26 in the UK), but there’s nothing to keep you from reading the book anytime you want. And a good many folks have been doing just that, as the trailer’s release triggered an immediate spike in sales. Last I looked, Kindle listed the ebook as #2 in Noir, #5 in Hard-Boiled. Not bad numbers for a book that’s been continuously in print for over twenty years.
And it’s eVailable on all platforms, too: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords. Amazon and B&N can also supply the handsome trade paperback, as can IndieBound—and most mystery specialty stores.
If you’d rather listen to it, Mark Hammer’s outstanding audio version is available from Audible.
It was in 1992 that A Walk Among the Tombstones was first published, and that makes it a babe in arms compared to the book Hard Case Crime has just brought out. Borderline appeared a full thirty years earlier, in 1962, and promptly vanished without a trace. It had a different title then (Border Lust), and the name on the cover (Don Holliday) was not even one of my own pen names; Nightstand Books published it under the pseudonym of a colleague of mine, Hal Dresner.
Then Charles Ardai at Hard Case came upon it, and on May 20th he published it simultaneously in hardcover, paperback, and ebook. Reviews have been astonishingly enthusiastic, and you have to read between the lines to get the message, which is something like this: “This is vintage Block, Block at the top of his youthful game, before the long slow heartbreaking decline.”
Perhaps I exaggerate. Borderline‘s old-style pulp fiction, and people do seem to be enjoying it. And, as you can see, the cover’s gorgeous. Hard Case covers always are, but this time they’ve outdone themselves. You can find the book in stores, esp. mystery booksellers, as well as online at Amazon and B&N. If you’d prefer an autographed copy, VJ Books and Mysterious Bookshop can accommodate you.
I have a feeling I’m forgetting a few things, and it wouldn’t surprise me. My Frequent Companion and I are just back from two weeks in Belgium (Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent) and I’m thinking of trying a Kickstarter campaign to seek a cure for jet lag. LB’s eBay Bookstore, closed during our absence, is open again, and someday soon David may actually list some additional items therein. Maybe by the time the movie opens in September.
Oh, that reminds me. I meant to mention that there’s a film coming out soon…