Down There

Down There❰Read❯ ➲ Down There Author David Goodis – Once upon a time Eddie played concert piano to reverent audiences at Carnegie Hall Now he bangs out honky tonk for drunks in a dive in Philadelphia But then two people walk into Eddie's life the first Once upon a time Eddie played concert piano to reverent audiences at Carnegie Hall Now he bangs out honky tonk for drunks in a dive in Philadelphia But then two people walk into Eddie's life the first promising Eddie a future the other dragging him back into a treacherous pastShoot the Piano Player is a bittersweet and nerve racking exploration of different kinds of loyalty the kind a man owes his family no matter how bad that family is; the kind a man owes a woman; and ultimately the loyalty he owes himself The result is a moody thriller that like the best hard boiled fiction carries a moral depth charge. This gritty hard boiled novel by David Goodis opens with an action scene where a bloody faced Turley Linn is running for his life through the alleys of a Philadelphia slum fleeing from two professional hit men Turley ducks into a run down neighborhood bar called Harriet's Hut and finds his brother Eddie the novel's main character who he hasn't seen in over six years Eddie acknowledges his brother but remains cool and doesn't stop playing his sweet honky tonk music on the joint's piano Remaining cool detached and emotionally uninvolved is the key note no pun intended of Eddie's threadbare solitary life In the first few pages we also come to know there is another side to cool Eddie that is some years ago Edward Webster Lynn a concert pianist trained at the Curtis Institute toured Europe and performed at Carnegie Hall captivating and mesmerizing audiences with musical talent bordering on genius Then why we may ask is one of the world's greatest pianists tickling the eighty eight at a rundown bar? It isn't until midway through the novel that we are given Eddie's backstory Turns out Edward was once deeply in love and married to a beautiful Puerto Rican woman named Teresa One evening at a midtown Manhattan party Teresa confesses to Edward that she had an affair with his high class concert manager Completely unhinged Edward stomps out of the room Seeing herself as unclean trash Teresa jumps out a windowThus we are given yet again another side of Eddie the piano player the cool guy with his soft easy smile when after the funeral Edward goes ballistic Late at night in Hell's Kitchen NYC he gets himself mugged robbed and beaten up enjoying every minute of the violence He then seeks out violence again and again and gives as good as he gets including mauling two policemen So violent is Eddie that a strong arm specialist in the Bowery tells his buddies the next time he fights with the guy he'll need an automatic rifle The author conveys Eddie's reflections on this period in his life Now looking back on it he saw the wild man of seven years ago and thought What it amounted to you were crazy I mean really crazy Call it horror crazyWith this background and insight into Eddie's character we have a complete overview of the violence taking place one afternoon at Harriet's Hut The bar's bouncer Wally Plyne aka the Harleyville Hugger admits to taking money for giving Eddie's address to the two hit men This causes Lena the young attractive waitress and friend of Eddie to erupt with a torrent of verbal barbs and insults aimed at Plyne Plyne tells her to shut her mouth but Lena keeps it up Plyne explodes smacking Lena in the face Lena keeps up the insults Plyne smacks her again Lena spits out insults More slaps and punches from Plyne At this point Eddie steps in Eddie and Plyne exchange punches Plyne picks up a chair leg to use as a club and then in response Eddie grabbing a long sharp bread knife Fearing for his life Plyne races out the back door Eddie follows knife in hand Several minutes later sueezed in one of the Harleyville Hugger's lethal bear hugs Eddie goes for Plyne's arm with the knife but Plyne suddenly shifts position and the knife sinks into Plyne's chest Plyne slumps over deadI focus on this scene because to my mind what happens underscores the author's view of human nature people are capable of extreme violence; it is only a matter of the flash point Doesn't matter if a person is an accomplished classical musician or an attractive twenty seven year old waitress push the buttons in a certain way and a man or woman will erupt like a volcano Ah the horror crazy buried deep within us all David Goodis made it a practice to routinely visit the bars and hangouts and hot spots in Philadelphia's rat infested poverty stricken slums As a writer and artist he opened himself to life as it was lived in the urban underbelly of the 1940s and 1950s desperate dark and dangerous and sat at his typewriter and wrote all about it Let's put it another way What's the payoff for the clean ones? The good ones? I mean the ones who play it straight What do they get at the cashier's window?Well friends speaking from experience I'd say the payoff is anything from a kick in the teeth to the longbladed scissors slicing in deep and cutting up that pump in your chest And that's too much that does it With all feeling going out and the venom coming in So then you're saying to the world All right we'll play it dirtyIs blood thicker than common sense?Haunted by the past and unmoved by the present Eddie spends his nights playing the piano in a bar Then his brother shows up on the run from two goons he stiffed Though it's the last thing in the world he wants or needs Eddie gets sucked into the whole mess That's basically it for the plot What follows is suspense drama and some swell dialogue Set against a snowy Philly backdrop the story is fairly classic noir with not a lot of surprises but the writing pulls you in and keeps you on your toesI had one uibble and that is my failure to understand Eddie's almost mystical power over women His boss Harriet is always willing to give him another chance His neighbor Clarice normally charges for her services but she lets Eddie have the occasional freebie And Lena poor Lena I'm saying her name a lot since the author repeatedly and infuriatingly refers to her as the waitress even though she IS essentially the female lead Though she barely knows Eddie Lena is willing to risk jail time AND her own life to protect him Perhaps pianists have magic fingers but ole Ed's charm managed to elude me Other than that this is a pretty good read with a satisfying endingIt definitely made me GLAD to be an only child Written before I was born this hardboiled novel shows its age a little don't we all It's not so much the story which is timeless as the conversational language used which I found a little off putting until I got into the flow of it The tale itself is of a gifted tinkler of the ivories who finds himself in a skid row bar knocking out tunes for the lowlife clientel How and why he got there we find out as the story unfoldsOf course given its genre there's crooks and guns and fistfights and girls There's also the uirky way the story is told with the piano player regularly having his thoughts laid out on the page often as uestions posed but not answered But it's a satisfying tale of its type with a classic denouementA uick read at under two hundred pages I'd happily track down of the author's tales of haunted men of the night Existential angst alienation paranoia disillusionment hopelessness tough as nails femme fatales seedy dive bars fate and the haunting effect of the past on the present These are some of the most common tropes of the noir genre Basically it is a bleak and joyless genre; therefore it naturally follows that I adore it I gravitate towards noir because it is seemingly consistent with my grim view of the world which some could argue is through a profoundly warped lens That is the view that it often seems that this is a world bereft of meaning and purity where people are inherently pernicious and that maybe some are better than others at repressing their innate capacity for evilThis book was pretty much universally rated at 4 5 stars on this very website and I am incredulous as to why I either have adult ADD or this book was painfully flat boring and insipid David Goodis is inexplicably renown for this novel which was adapted for the screen in 1960 by François Truffaut Apparently he was extremely popular in France The book tells the story of Eddie a former concert pianist stuck playing piano at Harriet’s Hut a seedy dive bar owned by a rough around the edges zaftig blond Eddie unwittingly becomes involved in his brother’s criminal conspiracy while his brother is on the lam trying to evade his associates Honestly recalling and summarizing the plot is too much of a bore to bother with it Although Goodis employed the above referenced conventions of noir he didn’t successfully execute them in a compelling way Unlike some of his pulp colleagues such as Raymond Chandler and Cornell Woolrich Goodis wasn’t particularly adept at creating an atmosphere This was especially Chandler’s forté as he was celebrated for his depiction of 1930’s40’s Los Angeles a portrayal which evoked a kind of sleazy glamour Also whereas Chandler was a talented wordsmith with respect to his tough and witty dialogue Goodis also fell short on this end In fact there was such an excessive amount of dialogue that it created an imbalance in the narrative and contributed to the overall flat bare feeling The bio in the back of the book indicated that Goodis had a brief and unhappy fling as a Hollywood screenwriter This is surprising to me it seems like Goodis could have thrived as a screenwriterOK so it’s pretty apparent that I didn’t particularly enjoy reading this book And there were moments when I debated abandoning it But I have a problem with discarding books once I’ve read past a certain point depending on the length of the book I just can’t give up on a book no matter how much I hate it According to Tim Parks in an article for the New York Review of Books blog the compulsion to stubbornly proceed with reading a book for pleasure when the experience ceases to be pleasurable is rooted in immaturity and the sense of achievement received by completing the loathsome tome I disagree although my maturity level is obviously uestionable Firstly it is inherently problematic to ascribe such a narrow rationale to a broad issue Secondly for me it’s less about achievement or even receiving closure from the story but about the time investment I’m stubborn I hate to give up once I’ve put in the time Moreover once I’ve finished the book only then do I feel I can fairly express an informed opinionIs it possible to plagiarize yourself? If so I just did I applied the same analysis of human nature during a recent discussion of Breaking Bad in my defense of Walter White And yes I know I need to “lighten up” Except for the two books on my “do not resuscitate” shelf Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Bad Behavior I’m not exactly sure what possessed me to read such trash therefore I will invoke the defense of temporary insanity Also it was easier to walk away from Bad Behavior because it was a collection of short stories so there is less of an implied promise to commit this is a very dark kind of cool super noir book that does some cool things with perspective got a pretty strong female character for the time it was writteni'm excited to watch the french new wave adaptation also for class than i was to read this book i know it's like who even am i? revoke my bookworm card alreadybottom line yeah i have very few feelings about this sure it's fine I don't like to leave things to stew before writing my thoughts on these books but perhaps I should in this case I absolutely loved this novelFrom the off a bleak noir atmosphere is painted by David Goodis the inevitable conclusion easy to see from page one You know where this is going but you are along for the ride anyway this is the way all good noir movies work and it is the same with this fantastic bookThe story clips along at a frantic pace the pages flew past as I devoured every incredible detail and every incredible line I've never read anything uite like it the comparisons to Chandler and Hammett have been made because of the mileau but this one bears than a passing resemblence to Hemingway whose collection of short stories Men Without Women i recently enjoyed But Goodis has crafted something betterThey say that with noir it is all about the womanwomen of the story and there are several women key to Eddie's story but none of them can be classed as a femme fatale or even a femme maternalle really Eddie is Eddie his decisions are his alone and based on his own code of ethics and behaviour He wants a uiet life and every decision in his mind is leading back to that goal It's s shame that it's so hard to find Goodis in local book stores here as I am definitely in need of another of his books despite the introduction in this copy saying he got progressively worse Screw the introduction I'm intrigued as to how somebody so talented could finish his life writing formulaic prose Down ThereDavid Goodis' 1956 novel Down There inspired Francois Truffaut's 1960 film Shoot the Piano Player which in turn inspired this 1990 reissue of the book under the name of the movie Goodis' 1917 1967 reputation has grown with the years His many noir novels were published in cheap paperback editions which uickly went out of print With the Library of America's publication of Down There under its proper name in a volume devoted to 1950s noir and LOA's recent publication of a volume devoted entirely to Goodis his place in American literature has been recognizedGoodis' novel has all the earmarks of noir the hardboiled writing style scenes of violence and murder a seedy bar called Harriet's Hut after its tough proprietor thugs and gangsters a femme fatale and treacherous lonely streets and alleys But there is nothing formulaic about Down There The book is deeply introspective and sad as it explores the lives of its characters and their shattered dreams Although written in the third person the book probes deeply into the inner worlds of its characters The book also has strong themes about the need to accept and make the most of life and about loyalty in its many formsThe novel and the characters unfold slowly and with substantial indirection Set in a coldsnowy Philadelphia winter in 1956 the main character is Eddie Lynn In his early 30's Eddie has for three years been eking out a subsistence existence playing the piano at Harriet's Hut He is uiet content disengaged and asks little of life beyond the pianoEddie's life is disrupted when his brother Turley whom he has not seen for seven years enters the Hut beaten and bruised Although he does not want to get involved Eddie saves his brother from the two thugs who enter the bar in pursuit The two thugs Feather and Morris are now on Eddie's trail ending his peace A young standoffish waitress at the Hut Lena senses Eddie's danger The two become emotionally involved thus further ending Eddie's self imposed loneliness and isolationEddie carries a tumultuous past which Goodis skillfully reveals as the novel proceeds From poor origins on a rural New Jersey farm Eddie married his sweetheart and rose to become a concert pianist who performed at Carnegie Hall With the suicide of his wife Eddie's own life and musical career collapsed as he fought in the mean areas of New York City and Philadelphia before finding a different life with his music at Harriet's Hut The novel bares Eddie's heart as well as the feelings and scars of several other charactersAs the novel develops Goodis also shows Eddie's relationship to Turley and to their older brother Clifton Turley and Clinton are involved in criminal activity smuggling and double crossing; and Eddie gets involved against his will While he is deeply attracted to Lena Eddie also struggles to keep her from the danger that surrounds him Lena for all her toughness shows her own devotion to Eddie in a manner as strong as the devotion shown years earlier by Eddie's wife The book shows Eddie struggling with the changes foisted upon him coming to terms with feelings that he thought he had cast aside and arriving at acceptanceMany of the secondary characters including Harriet the bouncer at Harriet's a former wrestler named Wally and a prostitute named Clarice who works the bar also receive insightful portrayals as their tortured lives intersect with Eddie's Even the lengthy and brutal fight scenes in the novel focus upon the feelings and motivations of the charactersDown There is an intense book about lonely streets shattered people and music It shows how the noir genre can become literature in its own right I have enjoyed exploring the works of Goodis over the past few yearsRobin Friedman WOW I have seen Tirez sur le pianiste by Francois Truffaut two or three times but I never bothered to check the writing credits and didn't expect the book to be so much devastating than the movieI would not say Goodis is as good as Chandler or Hammett when it comes to wisecracks and plot twists I would rather compare him to James M Cain in the focus on characters rather than mystery Shoot the Piano Player is a straightforward story of a man dealt a cruel hand of cards by Fate The scene is Philadelphia in 1956 a claustrophobic maze of dark alleyways and dingy rooms beset cold and snow sualls Eddy is a WWII veteran former concert pianist now reduced to making pretty arpeggios in a seedy bar All he wants is to be left alone to avoid making waves or to get involved in messy relationshipsThe world has different plans for him and into his uiet life enter first a lost brother followed by a femme fatale a pair of violent goons a golden hearted prostitute a peanut brained bouncer all rather staple characters of every noir movie made in Hollywood in the 40's and 50's There is a sense of inevitability in Eddy's story of being tied to a runaway train without brakes accelerating into the night He wants to escape but his every move is predetermined by the first action he took in the opening of the novel view spoiler tumbling a stack of beer crates over his brother's adversaries hide spoiler June 5 2013 Little book I don't do you justice I will finish you hopefully this week but I owe you a rereadJune 6 2013 Seems fitting that the last thirty pages of this were read in a state somewhere between consciousness and sleep Because that's how it read Like some kind of nightmare you wish someone would wake you from Goodis' material is usually dark that's why he's up there with the big boys in the noir field but this one felt especially so Goodis is capable of creating characters you would swear he pulled from real life But he outdid himself here I wanted to cradle the two main characters in my arms and invite them into my tree house and tell them Hey you guys it's not so bad Look cookies Milk Soda if you want it We'll live that mean ole world behind and just hang out here for a while Eh? Eh? But these characters these people know better than that They could hide with me in the tree house and still the world would be waiting for them when they climbed down again Even if they waited forever it would still be waiting So fuck it they said we'll meet you head on Oh they did some running their own version of it And I cringed and cowered and said No no no don't do that that's not gonna go well at all But this is noir and a lot like real life noir doesn't pull any punches So you walk blindly well not so blindly; you have your eyes wide open to catch a glimpse if only a fleeting one you walk not so blindly in and take your licks and hope you come out on the other side But what if you have someone tagging along behind? Someone you were unready to give yourself to but somehow they managed to whittle a hole in that block of wood you called a heart the one that turned into a block after the last time something bad happened and in order to prevent it from ever happening again you simply said Alright that's enough I'm out I'm not doing this any But then this new one came along and you said you wouldn't get involved and you wouldn't let the person in but somehow they kindled a little fire around that block of wood and it began to spit and his and without your being aware of it the other person was adding stick and twigs and the fire was getting bigger and you wanted to put it out but the you wanted to put it out the bigger it got and the harder it got and by then it was too late anyway You were in too far But life's always creeping up behind maybe just a step or two or maybe it's two or three blocks away but it's always following and it's waiting on the chance to cut in And when it does you'll dance And you'll dance And you'll dance You'll get seasick and you'll swoon and if you're lucky before it really gets rough you'll be thrown free thrown overboard; or you could be lucky and hang on for the entire ride and what a ride it'll be There's music somewhere It may be music you yourself are playing or it may be piping in from that gaping rent in the sky the one where all the darkness is coming form and maybe someone's just turned out the lights for a while that's all it is someone's turned out the lights Say would you mind turning the lights back on? But the one who turned on the lights may no longer be there to turn them on for you and you have to figure out how to turn them on again yourself Click Click Click David Goodis is possibly the most frustrating writer in history When he's good as he is here he's untouchable but when he's bad as in most of Nightfall for eg he's pitiful What's so good about this? It's dark Intense Dripping with atmosphere The interior monologue is something uniue too in this context An existential noir A loser condemned to lose again who knows it but can't help fighting Man it's deep while also seeming so close to its own parody that it's like a cartoon or better a woodcut Grainy Primitive You can see the joins It's the work of a craftsman not a master he's too undisciplined for that but a guy who knows what he's doing and through sheer willpower is really doing it after however many years on auto pilot churning out pulp for a paycheue And that's why it's deep it's the transcript of a struggle A spiritual struggle I suspect given the raw power of this uniue masterpiece Beyond even Hammett I think for the sense of danger we get at seeing this beast of a writer unbridled Unbridled and struggling to stay on track

Paperback  ß Down There Epub ¿
  • Paperback
  • 158 pages
  • Down There
  • David Goodis
  • English
  • 22 June 2016
  • 9780679732549