Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Now's The Time by John Harvey (Slow Dancer Press 1999)

Music has always been important for Charlie, you fancy - as background and as entertainment, as a way of easing a stressful life, papering over emptiness, and more positively, helping him to measure and assess emotion, helping him to understand. And where it had begun for him, this musical affiliation, this need? A tailoring uncle, returned from the States with a pile of chipped and scratched 78s and Charlie, in his early teens, open-minded and keen-eared, set loose amongst them. Bing Crosby. The Ink Spots. Sinatra. Dick Haymes. The Mills Brothers. Ella Fitzgerald's 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket' and 'Stone Cold Dead in the Market'. Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra with Billie Holiday (vocal refrain).
(John Harvey writing about his creation, Charlie Resnick, in the chapter entitled, 'Coda'.)


mikeovswinton said...

Those Resnicks are just top, aren't they Darren? They got me onto double espressos and I'm told the sandwich recipes are authentic. Up the Pies.

Darren said...

I love the novels but, unfortunately, the short stories were a bit lack-lustre.

Just made me want to go back to the novels themselves and re-read them all over again.

Btw, I finally got round to replying to your Damned Utd comments.

mikeovswinton said...

Don't think I've ever read the short stories. The early novels in the Resnick series are the ones, though, aren't they?

Did you see the TV series? Broadcast in around 1993, I think the BBC did about 3 of them. They were supposed to do some more, but my guess is that they were a tad too dark for the punters. Tom Wilkinson played Charlie R, and the guy who went on to play Roy Cropper in Coronation St played Millington, which always gave me a bit of the old double takes when I happened to watch what the actors call C-Street.

Darren said...

I did see the tv adaptation at the time. I'm guessing it was Wilkinson as Resnick that turned me onto Harvey's books.

As is my habit, I read most of the books in the series in rapid succession.

Via the wonders of bit torrent, I was able to check out the tv adaption once again a few months back. To be honest, it wasn't as good as I remembered it. I still liked Wilkinson's central performance, but I think the books are so much better. I don't think the darkness of Resnick's character was properly captured, and the production just came across as bit too low rent.

I have the same sniffy attitude to the tv adaptations of Rankin's Rebus and the Dalziel and Pascoe novels. It's probably just me.

mikeovswinton said...

There are now two completely different Dalziel and Pascoe entities - the books and the TV series. I just enjoy both for what they are - excellent telly (phenomenal telly compared to most of the dreck on) and superb techy novels. Tho' a German friend has got me onto Bernard "The Reader" Schlink's Self techy novels and they are worth a spin....
Great line on Mitchell and Webb last night; "They said it was good enough for Channel 5 but not for Dave." You do know we have a TV channel called Dave, don't you? Its +1 channel is called Dave ja vu.