✸ [BOOKS] ✬ Down There By David Goodis ❂ – Saudionline.co.uk

Down There chapter 1 Down There, meaning Down There, genre Down There, book cover Down There, flies Down There, Down There 2f46586bd65d7 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


10 thoughts on “Down There

  1. says:

    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 window.Thus, 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 crazy With 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, squeezed 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, dead.I 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.


  2. says:

    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 dirty.Is 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 toes.I had one quibble, 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 ending.It definitely made me GLAD to be an only child


  3. says:

    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 unfolds.Of course, given its genre, there s crooks and guns and fistfights and girls There s also the quirky way the story is told, with the piano player regularly having his thoughts laid out on the page, often as questions posed but not answered But it s a satisfying tale of its type with a classic denouement.A quick read, at under two hundred pages, I d happily track down of the author s tales of haunted men of the night.


  4. says:

    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 evil This 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 Fran ois 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 fort , as he was celebrated for his depiction of 1930 s 40 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 screenwriter.OK, 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 questionable 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 opinion Is 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.


  5. says:

    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 written.i 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 already.bottom line yeah i have very few feelings about this sure it s fine.


  6. says:

    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 novel.From 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 book.The 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 quite 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 better.They say that with noir it is all about the woman women 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 quiet 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.


  7. says:

    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 movie.I 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 squalls 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 relationships.The world has different plans for him, and into his quiet 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


  8. says:

    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.


  9. says:

    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 unique 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 paycheque 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 unique 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.


  10. says:

    not a review but a overwhelming yes it s been hard for me to review shoot the piano player aka down there because i so ardently and unequivocally adore it suffice to say, i have read it many times, and i will read it again and again and again, simply because it is one of the most visceral reading experiences i ve ever had and it just goes to show how one never knows what chord will be struck, how a character might resonate, no matter how different in experience, until you meet and absorb them as a reader in this book, i am running down a street, and clocking my head, and coming finally to the bar, and then i meet my brother there, and then i become my brother, and i am with him in the alley, there with the hat pin, and i am entirely immersed in this life, this sequence that winds its way to the end what a marvelous bit of music, this book.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *