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James Crumley Dies


Thursday, September 18, 2008
 
The wheel of life turns again. Soon after the deaths of Gregory McDonald and David Foster Wallace, James Crumley has passed away at age 68.

I met him briefly at ConMisterio in Austin in 2006. He seemed to be in poor health at the time, moving around rather slowly. He also seemed to think the whole thing was faintly ridiculous. I spoke with him a few moments but was too starstruck to talk long. My loss.

I know that The Last Good Kiss is widely considered his masterpiece, but I always liked The Wrong Case, in which fuckup private eye Milo Milodragovich investigates the death of the man who was his surrogate father, and in the process ruminates on the death of his real father many years before.

Crumley's last published novel, The Right Madness, left me cold, but I always looked forward to his next book, one I guess won't be coming.

At director Ernst Lubitsch's funeral, Billy Wilder is said to have remarked, "No more Lubitsch," to which William Wyler replied, "Worse than that - no more Lubitsch pictures."

No more Crumley books. No more Crumley.

(Sarah Weinman has a big roundup here.)

posted by Graham Powell at 4:26 PM