Wednesday, December 22, 2010
PRINT THE LEGEND, the third novel in the Hector Lassiter series cropped up on three different year's best lists overnight.
I'm very grateful to the critics and booksellers who singled out PTL among the hundreds of books published in 2010.
January Magazine/The Rap Sheet's Stephen Miller wrote:
"The Hector Lassiter series took a significant step forward in 2010 when author Craig McDonald released his third book about the renegade hard-boiled writer, Print the Legend. Set in Ketchum, Idaho, in 1965, four years after Ernest Hemingway’s suicide, old Papa pal Lassiter finds himself the keynote speaker at a symposium about his drinking and writing rival and fellow spirit. Hemingway is on the verge of becoming the literary cottage industry that we know today with dissertations, journals, and academic jealousies. On top of it all, Mary Hemingway, the black widow herself, is still ensconced in the Ketchum home where she is said to be ready to release a posthumous memoir Hemingway wrote about his experiences in 1920s Paris, a book familiar to us today as A Moveable Feast. Yet all is clearly not right, since a rogue CIA agent named Donovan Creedy is lurking about the symposium, apparently hell-bent on destroying Papa’s reputation -- and take Lassiter out in the process. Meanwhile, Lassiter is trying to subdue the widow Hemingway, retrieve some long-lost papers, and keep Creedy from screwing Papa over once and for all. McDonald helps to keep this story timely by dovetailing it nicely into the recent controversy surrounding a re-editing of A Moveable Feast by one of the great author’s grandson, Sean Hemingway -- a “restored” version that received significant criticism from Hemingway loyalists. Like the previous entries in the Lassiter series, Head Games (2007) and Toros and Torsos (2008), in Print the Legend McDonald pulls from the archives of conspiracies and skullduggery to compose a rollicking yarn, taking no prisoners and never letting up on the adrenaline. One can’t help but be reminded, when reading several sections of this novel, of that old joke about why battles in academia are so vicious: because the stakes are so modest." -- Stephen Miller
Scott Montgomery, of Austin, Texas' Book People writes:
"A unique thriller that has McDonald’s pistol-toting crime writer, Hector Lassiter, a shady government agent, and Ernest Hemingway’s widow circling around some lost manuscripts. Smart, slow burn suspense as well as a deft meditation on literary culture."
(By the by, Book People's crime fiction club will be reading TOROS & TORSOS in January and I'll be visiting via speaker phone; hope to make an in person visit during the ONE TRUE SENTENCE tour early next year, too.)
And Jen Forbus at Jen's Book Thoughts writes:
"Why I don't hear McDonald's name mentioned more often is one of the great wonders of this world. PRINT THE LEGEND is extraordinary. It's unique, masterfully blending fact with fiction. McDonald refused to be confined by any conventions. He's paving his own road, and I'm gladly traveling along enjoying the fruits of his labors."