Miami Blues

ISBN: 1400032466
ISBN 13: 9781400032464
By: Charles Willeford Elmore Leonard

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Crime Crime Fiction Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Florida Mystery Noir Thriller To Read

Reader's Thoughts

Tim Niland

A wild and rollicking crime story in the Elmore Leonard/Carl Hiaasen mold, Miami Blues follow the exploits of killer and ex-con Junior and his dim-witted "wife" Susie as they try to out maneuver Miami police Sargent Hoke Mosely as Junior goes on a city wide crime and killing spree. Willeford's characterizations are really the heart of this novel, as we follow Junior and Mosely through their lives and chosen careers, we see what drives them and what will eventually bring them together in a violent conclusion.

Tracie

I realize this book might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is basically everything I want in a book. Super violent, sort of hilarious, simply written, psychopath characters. I couldn't put it down. Why don't I read more crime novels? Well, I'm about to because I just ordered the other 3 books in the Hoke Moseley series.

Angela

I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12050546

Gerald Sinstadt

Penguin can be thanked for adding Miami Blies to their Modern Classics catalogue. The late Charles Willeford had enough exprience of life to qualify him to write about its darker side: he was a US tank commander with many medals in World War II, he was a horse trainer, a boxer and a painter.Three interesting characters interact in Miami Blues. Frederick J Frenger Jr is an amoral, violent crook. Susan Waggoner is the student/hooker whom he lures into a "platonic marriage." Hoke Moseley is the homicide detective with vulnerable dentures who eventually ensures that Freddy and Susan receive their due.The telling is strong on laconic humour but doesn't shy away from portraying gratuitous violence for what it is. There are more Hoke Mosely books that should be worth exploring.

Karl

Don't Watch the movie, read the book, in fact read all the books by Mr. Willeford. Sadly he is not creating any new books. Published in 1984 and this is the second time I have read this book. High rating for enjoy-ability if you like a bit of a hard boiled edge, and a great place to be introduced to this author.

Luca Lesi

Miami Blues è un romanzo hard-boiled che scorre veloce come un battito di ciglia, non capirete bene come mai ma vi accorgerete di averlo finito mentre ci pensate.Facile in questo caso associare un brano musicale al libro a cui Tarantino ha dedicato Pulp Fiction ... godetevi la scena !Tre personaggi attorno ai quali ruota la vicenda ed un protagonista : Miami, città nella quale "girare senza un arma fa una certa impressione", "troppo spietata per fare dei figli", "dove le famiglie possono disfarsi in baleno", le strade intasate, il caldo umido che si appiccica addosso mentre leggi.Hoke Mosley, detective senza un soldo perché paga gli alimenti alla moglie , che vive in uno squallido albergo dove "devi far squillare il telefono almeno venti volte perchè il tipo della reception è duro d'orecchi e spesso si allontana". Hoke è in gamba, intelligente, border line, non aspetta certo rinforzi o mandati per intervenire, ha una dentiera ballerina che più volte finisce per strada a causa dei pugni presi.Freddie Frenger, detto Junior, psicopatico appena uscito di prigione, ossessionato da dover fare qualcosa nella vita rispetto alla quale si sente un di avere un atteggiamento responsabile e intelligente salvo poi pestare o sparare al primo essere che incontra. Miami è la sua città .... sarebbe stata la sua città ..... non sarà mai più la sua città.Susan, studentessa squillo, giovane apparentemente stupida ma in realtà scaltra e opportunista, per lei il finale del libro e , a riconoscimento della vittoria in questa storia ,per quanto sempre piccole e relative siano le nostre vittorie in questa vita : "Vince la torta all'aceto OCALA - la signora Susan Mansfield, nata Waggoner, ha vinto la disfida delle torte delle tre contee . Di seguito la ricetta . Al momento di ricevere il premio la signora ha dichiarato < Devo ancora incontrare un uomo che non vada pazzo per il mio dolcino>"La scrittura di Willeford è precisa ma fluente, i personaggi sempre ben delineati, descritti con spessore sia internamente che esternamente, le strane coincidenze che si manifestano all'inizio del romanzo inducono abilmente a proseguire dritti fino alla fine.Alcuni elementi si ripetono quasi con ossessione e sono caratteristici dei tre personaggi: la dentiera, il dover far fare venti squilli e la mancanza di soldi (Hoke ; non fare domande se non intelligenti, essere responsabili e avere una lista (lo psicopatico); fare da magiare bene, avere un'auto e avere un uomo a fianco ( Susan). Ritengo che proprio questa continua ripetizione, quasi ad identificare le quotidiane ossessioni di ogni uno di noi, sia la chiave per cui i protagonisti si sentono in qualche modo "vicini" e la simpatia e l'interesse del lettore si ripartiscano equamente tra i tre.Anche quando l'ispettore subisce l'aggressione di Junior e finisce all'ospedale, non si prende posizione, non si chiede giustizia ma si gira pagina per leggere cosa succederà e non è un caso che l'unico personaggio che a gran voce vi farà pensare "questo str... deve finire in galera !" sarà un marginale poliziotto corrotto a nome Wilson, totalmente accessorio e ininfluente alla storia.Fantastico il riferimento alla poesia haiku , antica arte poetica Giapponese basata rigorosamente su 17 sillabefuruike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no otoil vecchio stagnola rana saltatonfo nell'acquatrovate un interessante e completo approfondimento qui : La poesia haiku e la 'rana' di Bashō Difficile spiegare come questo tratto di notevole spessore culturale possa entrare in questa pazza storia ed essere coerente con i suoi personaggi . Le 4 stelle di giudizio nascono proprio da qui, dalla capacità dell’autore di coinvolgerti al punto tale da farti pensare che tutto sia possibile e ragionevole a Miami come nella vita. Sia che si tratti di un incontro casuale tra un pregiudicato e la sorella dell’uomo che aveva ucciso la mattina in aeroporto storcendogli il dito sia che una squillo portoricana di 14, 16, 19, 20 o 21 anni (?) studi Haiku.Un ultimo accenno alla solitudine, tema caro ai personaggi del filone hard-boiled, anche qui la solitudine concede un piccolo spazio di rivincita a Junior e Susan, anche qui è uno spazio destinato a durare poco restituendo ad ogniuno la propria solitudine oppure la morte , estrema solitudine o una vaga promessa di un'altra possibilità, comunque temporanea, di uscirne per un po’. Come sempre, è l'orgoglio che ci fotte (si pensi al colloquio in Pulp Fiction tra Butch e Marcellus ) e volendo noi credere di essere nel giusto, di essere coerenti, di affermere noi stessi prendendoci in mano la vita senza compromessi, ci ritroviamo tristemente soli e inevitabilemete sconfitti. Leggetelo, ne vale la pena, ma non aspettatevi troppo e sarà gradevolissimo.

John Onoda

Charles Willeford reminds me of Elmore Leonard. Both write about criminals with as much affection and understanding as they write about cops. All characters are presented as human and flawed, often with both good and bad traits. In Miami Blues, the mains character are the sociopathic Freddy Frenger and the dysfunction Hoke Moseley, a cop who is living in a seedy Miami hotel and who really ought to retire.The portrait of Miami in the 1980's is from the perspective of people on the fringes. It isn't pretty but it's believable. So is the blurred line between right and wrong, as cops and law breakers interact in a kind of No Mans Land where normal rules of behavior don't really hold sway.

Brian Getz

When it comes to Florida mystery/crime fiction, Hoke Mosely is at the opposite end of the "cool" spectrum when it comes to some of his more contemporary literary protagonists like Doc Ford, Thorn,and Alex Rutledge. Root for him, you do, though.

Cameron

This is not a bad book and I did enjoy reading it, however it is no Hammett, Chandler or Elroy. To be fair it is set in a different time and place to LA hard boiled novels and the protagonists is a cop, but that doesn't change that I didn't get into the characters immediately and that it felt a little patchy and unfocussed. Some of the sequence seemed unnecessary and out of place except for setting up bad puns or very darkly humourous situations.I see from notes that this is first a series of novels with Hoke as the main character rather than splitting time with the antagonist (Junior). I would definitely buy the next Hoke Mosely book to see how the stories progress when they focus on his view point, but at would not rush out to order it.

Unbridled

I'd seen (and enjoyed) the movie of course and as a rule I never read a book after seeing the movie, but I came across Willeford's name in an interview with Jim Knipfel, who wrote the entertaining Slackjaw and spoke admiringly of his work. With a little research I discovered that no less an authority than Elmore Leonard said Willeford is the best crime writer in America. That's good enough for me. I also learned that Miami Blues was the first of a series of detective Hoke Moseley books. So I had no choice but start at the first, and I can say it did not disappoint in the least – I liked it, liked its energy, story, and its pop pop speed, and I finished it in two sittings. Is it going to inspire you or move you or change your life? No. But it's the kind of book every kind of writer should read more often to tell better stories and it's also the kind of book that I'd like to read more often. Something so easy, smart, and breezy is extremely hard to do. Of course, there are tricks in this trade, and if a genre writer is prolific enough you start to see those tricks everywhere as a distraction. Still, I look forward to finishing off the Moseley series and maybe looking around the rest of the Willeford oeuvre.

Jay Hinman

Charles Willeford was an offbeat noir/crime writer whose oeuvre I've been hoping to dive deeper into for years; it's probably been about 20 since I read his "The Burnt Orange Heresy" (1971), which has got to be one of the funniest, most absurd "crime" novels ever written. I also tackled his 50s pure-noir "High Priest of California" and "Wild Wives" hardboilers around that time, and remember them to this day as being quite pleasingly vicious and raw. To the extent that Willeford is known outside (or even inside) the crime enthusiast world, it's for a series he wrote in the 1980s just before his 1988 death featuring a derelict detective named Hoke Moseley, the most famous of which is the first one, "MIAMI BLUES", which was made into a film some time after that and which I just finished reading this past weekend.I have no hesitation in the slightest pronouncing it as having delivered. Willeford is no Jim Thompson nor Elmore Leonard; both his gumshoes and his criminals are pretty bent, odd characters, and his writing zags off into strange tangents that are ridiculously funny and somehow still an integral if bizarre part of the larger story. 42-year-old detective Hoke Mosely's premature dentures, for instance, get into all sorts of conundrums in this tale, and the story also has some pretty offbeat digressions into the nature of Japanese haiku and all manner of health foods. I obviously haven't read the other three Hoke Moseley novels, but I enjoyed greatly how his personal and find-the-bad-guy story was told only in alternating chapters, and in an only slightly linear fashion as well. The other alternating chapters are given over to psychopath Freddie "Junior" Frenger and his doofus "platonic wife" Susan Waggoner, whom Freddie meets when she shows up upon his arrival in his Miami hotel room as a prostitute. Freddie has just gotten out of prison in California, see, and his chief aim is to do something big that even he knows will land him in prison again - he's just not sure what. He's a vicious bodybuilding thug whom we only learn about in spurts; most of his action is in real time, as he breaks fingers (sending a Hare Krishna into death by shock), robs people blind, breaks jaws and emotionally & physically abuses Susan. Frenger is on a collision course with Moseley, and even he seems to know it. He decides that his "big splash" is going to be a coin dealer in downtown Miami, and let's just say things don't really go as planned, as crimes planned by psychopathic, prison-lifer muscle-thugs often don't.Willeford seems to be simultaneously laughing and pointing fingers at the crime genre and spinning a ripping crime yarn at the same time. It's what endeared me so much to "The Burnt Orange Heresy", and much of his same sardonic art is alive and well in this one.

Jitka Jitulisko

http://jitulisko.blogspot.cz/2014/07/...

Scott E

I only have a few Crime Fiction reads that I've given 5-stars. Miami Blues clearly joins them. I doubt that I'll like Willeford as much as I like James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly and a few others...but this book is top notch crime fiction. Kicked off by a series of incredible (although believable) coincidences, the narrative alternates between psychopath Freddy Frenger and Miami Homicide detective Hoke Moseley (who is the protagonist of three additional Willeford outings). Like my favorites (Burke & Leonard especially), Willeford does wonders in creating the atmosphere of 1980s Miami. If you think you'll recognize the same Miami you see each week on CSI Miami...you won't.

Kurt

OK, I checked this out because it was made into a nice little top-notch B movie with Alec Baldwin playing the lead bad-ass. I love (w/in the context of the genre, budget, etc.) the movie and so I've always wanted to read the book. Despite a 3-star rating it didn't disappoint. Solid crime-dramedy (can I use a stupid word like dramedy?) in the vein of Leonard (though the movie is probably better at what it does than the book).

Kemper

Treasure of the Rubbermaids 10: Good Cop - Bad CopThe on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths. Junior Frenger has just gotten out of prison in California, and he promptly heads to Miami with a pocket full of stolen cash and credit cards. No sooner does he arrive at the airport than a Hare Krishna annoys him so Junior breaks his finger before leaving to embark on a one-man crime wave. Freakishly, the Krishna dies from the shock of the broken digit, and homicide detective Hoke Mosley gets the case. Junior goes on to meet part-time call girl Susan, and then unlikely coincidence brings Hoke into contact with both of them. Hoke doesn’t realize that Junior is the guy who inadvertently killed the Krishna, but he picks up on Junior being an ex-con and starts nosing around him and Susan. This annoys Junior who goes on the offensive and ends up in a position to impersonate a police officer while complicating Hoke’s life.This is a slick and original crime thriller with off-beat characters. Junior is described as a ‘blithe psychopath‘, and he lives up to that billing. Since he’s sure that he’ll end up in jail eventually no matter what he does, Junior is only interested in instant gratification and fast cash with no real concern about long term consequences. Susan is so grateful to have someone to take care of her that she quickly begins complying with Junior’s instructions.Hoke isn’t your typical hero cop, either. Just over 40 with a failed marriage and a mouthful of false teeth as well as a taste for bourbon, Hoke‘s personal life is a mess. With every spare dime going towards alimony and child support, he has to live in a shabby hotel and can’t even keep up with his bar tab. Hoke’s also losing most of his friends on the police force as an increasingly dangerous Miami of the late ‘80s is causing most of them to flee to safer jobs. Anyone looking for an fast paced crime novel with a dark sense of humor would enjoy this book. The movie version from 1990 with Alec Baldwin and Fred Ward is a good adaptation of this also.

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