Author Topic: Philip Kerr dies  (Read 1445 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Philip Kerr dies
« on: March 24, 2018, 09:10:47 AM »
Very sad news, he was a brilliant writer. As Edward Manning says "The world’s bookshelves were a better place with his work on them."

Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 07:12:35 PM »
Really saddened by this news. I met him last year (just small talk in a book shop) but he was very gracious and, best of all, as pleasingly cynical as you'd hope the creator of Bernie Gunther would be.

He stood out from a lot of crime writers with the risks he took (both in how dirty he allowed the hands of his hero to get and some of the non-series books which were definitely heart over head propositions). Apparently made an absolute fuck load of money in Hollywood after the first three Bernie Gunther novels, re-tooling scripts that never got made. Good for him.

I sometimes thought he let the character overwhelm some of his later series books - with long passages of Bernie's one-liners feeling slightly incongruous in life or death situations - but the first three in particular were very important to me, and he still had a pretty good hit rate.

Will be interested to read the new one (out in a couple of weeks although I guess it might get brought forward), as apparently he wrote it while ill so there may be some finality to the proceedings...

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 08:19:59 AM »
Oh no! Fucking hell

Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 12:59:21 PM »

Will be interested to read the new one (out in a couple of weeks although I guess it might get brought forward), as apparently he wrote it while ill so there may be some finality to the proceedings...

There are two coming out, one next week and then another one later in the year which according to the New York Times is set during the Weimar Republic.

Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 11:03:45 PM »
I love his police procedurals with Gunther but not the postwar ones where Bernie is spying for various powers and encountering Nazis who went underground assumed dead. Using Heydrich and Nebe as characters is very risky and sometimes it falls flat. Bernie's moral equivalence between Nazis, Soviets and Yanks can jar.

OTOH I have not read the Argentina one yet and it looks very promising.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

  • Are we human? Or are we toilet
    • http://jackanderton.jamendo.net/
Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2018, 07:50:28 AM »
A Quiet Flame? That's also post-war. My least favourite, though it is a very interesting side-story to learn about. A fairly low key story though a subtly devastating ending.

Also, did you mean those two specifically? The recurring feature of the series is fictional interaction with real life characters.

Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 02:36:49 PM »
Yes, A Quiet Flame. I am saving it for my next night away.

Heydrich and Nebe were the ones who sprang to mind as the most senior killers he works for directly, but I also see that Eichmann is in A Quiet Flame so there may be others I have not encountered yet.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

  • Are we human? Or are we toilet
    • http://jackanderton.jamendo.net/
Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2018, 03:54:18 PM »
Yeah though IIRC in terms of involvement and dialogue he just features in a few scenes.

It isn't really spoiling the boom, given we know what Eichmann looked like, but there's a typically Guntherian moment where he ponders Eichmann's almost caricature of Jewish appearance.

Re: Philip Kerr dies
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 03:46:35 PM »
I've just been looking at my copy, decades old, of The Penguin Book of Fights, Feuds and Heartfelt Hatreds, an anthology edited by Kerr.  He did an incredibly shoddy job.  There is a section on the Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton duel titled Aaron Burr is Provoked to Fight Colonel Hamilton.  In his brief paragraph of introduction Kerr again refers to 'Colonel' Hamilton,  but in the text (taken from an 1884 biography of Burr) Hamilton is always 'General' Hamilton.  There are no further editorial notes, so the reader is not given even the really rather interesting tidbit of info that Burr was the US vice-president at the time of the duel, nor told that three years beforehand Hamilton's eldest son had been killed in a duel on the same site.

Another chapter is J Edgar Hoover's War Against Martin Luther King.  Here Kerr does provide some editorial clarification for the reader.  The very first sentence of the extract reads, "Hoover's intelligence service to [Lyndon B.] Johnson was performed, of course, covertly..."  Thanks, Phil, we now know for sure which Johnson the text is referring to.  However, at this point he gave up.  The next couple of pages twice refer to LBJ's 'executive order of 8 May'.  From the context this order clearly had something to do with Hoover and his leadership for the FBI, but as to learning exactly what this was, Kerr decided his readers should have to wait for the invention of the internet.