Monday, October 17, 2005

Website: Ed Gorman & Friends

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve linked to Ed’s blog. Yesterday he put up what he called his final post. Ed has shut down his site before only to come back. I hope he does so again.

Bill Crider does a far better job than I could explaining Ed’s many contributions to the crime fiction community. I’ve been a Gorman fan for a long time. His blog inspired me to start my own, and the plugs he graciously gave this site in its early days accounted for most if not all of its traffic. For that, I’ll always be in his debt.

Ed is one of the great appreciators, always singling out quality work no matter the medium or genre. By coincidence, in the past week I caught up with two films that Ed brought to my attention:

MISTER BUDDWING (1966) – Amnesia victim James Garner wanders the black-and-white streets of New York attempting to reconstruct his identity. It’s a surprisingly experimental movie, with the role of Garner’s significant other played by several women that his character encounters. I went in expecting a thriller, but the film posed a far more disturbing question. Does losing your way mean losing yourself?

NO DOWN PAYMENT (1957) – Sort of a BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES set a decade later, as WWII vets begin moving out to the suburbs only to face entirely new problems. Ed’s right to single out Tony Randall’s performance as a striver driven to alcohol by the need to keep up with the Joneses.

The films have a lot in common. They deserve to be better known. They’re based on novels by authors generally seen as crime writers (Evan Hunter and John McPartland, respectively). And they focus squarely on the human wants and needs of their characters, a quality evident in all of Ed Gorman’s work.

Like a lot of other people, I’m keeping my bookmark in place and waiting for his return.