By David Whish-Wilson
December 31st, 2019
This year has been a good one for crime reading, with some favourite new novels out by Adrian McKinty (The Chain), Emma Viskic (Darkness for Light), Dave Warner (River of Salt), Garry Disher (Peace) and Jock Serong (Preservation). For my Christmas reading, I’m looking forward to cracking into Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980, edited by Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre, following their earlier pulp collaboration – Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980. I’ve got a chapter in the new book, but I know I’m going to love the range, research and comment across the whole thing.
I’m currently reading something else by Iain McIntyre – the Fly!: Hobo Literature and Songs, 1879–1941, out this year with PM Press. It’s a fascinating collection of Hobo writing – stories, songs, poems and articles by Hobo writers, as well as some sharp analysis about who and what constituted the groups of men and women who rode the roughly 250,000 miles of US train-tracks over some six decades, and why they did it. Puts my father’s favourite Hank Williams song, ‘Ramblin Man’, into high-res context.