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Build My Gallows High (1947)

de Geoffrey Homes

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713296,368 (3.97)25
The Film Ink series presents the novels that inspired the work of some of the most celebrated directors of our time. While each novel is first and foremost a classic in its own right, these books offer the dedicated cinephile a richer understanding of the most illustrious films of American and European cinema. Retired private eye Red Bailey is happier than he's been for a long time. Living in Nevada, bothered by nobody, he runs a little gas station, gets in a lot of fishing, and might even be falling for a local girl. Then, out of the blue, his past comes back to haunt him. Blackmailed into doing just one more job, he's forced to revisit the life he fled--in particular, the seductive Mumsie McGonigle. It's not long before Bailey realizes that a trap has been set for him. The novel, scripted by the author, went on in the hands of Jacques Tourneur to become the cinema's most celebrated work of "film noir," starring Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, and Jane Greer.… (mais)
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Exibindo 3 de 3
Super! The first book I have ever read in which I saw the film (Out of the Past) first! The book & the film are almost identical with the exception of location & a few names in the novel! It was a page turner from the minute I opened it! A complete twist with a hard boiled character & a real seedy cast of dismal beings! I really think that the female character (femme fatale) was the first real "bad girl" of this pulp crime era. She is gritty & takes betrayal to an entirely different level! I couldn't help but to sympathize with the protagonist, being caught in a love triangle, heist, & a web of deceit! Even better was the ending, it was believable & a relief! Written with such wit, bringing out the darkness in every character that crosses the page! Extremely entertaining, it is short & an easy read! I have read it twice this month! I would recommend it! ( )
  fashionablyloud1 | Jul 20, 2012 |
This book is noir at its best. The cover reads "the quintessence of doomladen romantic noir" which is no exaggeration.

Retired private eye, Red Bailey is happily living in Nevada, fishing and falling in love, and wants to leave his past in the past. Unfortunately he is coerced into performing one last job in order to do so. Fast forward to dead bodies left and right, double crossing femme fatales, dirty cops, and gangsters and you have the essentials of an excellent noir novel.

The excellent movie Out of the Past with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer was based on this novel, and this is one of those rare cases where both the book and the movie are excellent.

I highly recommend both. ( )
1 vote lsh63 | Jan 7, 2010 |
Ex private eye Red bailey thinks his past is finally laid to rest, but then an old friend looks him up and offers him one last job, one that cannot refuse. Written in 1947, this was his final novel before he concentrated solely on screen writing (his films include Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and it is a blinder of a novel. All the noir tropes are here, perfectly presented: dirty cops, gangsters, femme fatales, snappy dialog, double crosses galore and a twisting plot. Mainwaring gloriously entwines the past and present so the setup leaks out slowly, keeping the details hidden even if you 're aware that like a Greek tragedy this doesn't end happily. I highly recommend it for all fans of the genre but I reckon anyone would enjoy it. ( )
1 vote clfisha | Jun 2, 2009 |
Exibindo 3 de 3
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The Film Ink series presents the novels that inspired the work of some of the most celebrated directors of our time. While each novel is first and foremost a classic in its own right, these books offer the dedicated cinephile a richer understanding of the most illustrious films of American and European cinema. Retired private eye Red Bailey is happier than he's been for a long time. Living in Nevada, bothered by nobody, he runs a little gas station, gets in a lot of fishing, and might even be falling for a local girl. Then, out of the blue, his past comes back to haunt him. Blackmailed into doing just one more job, he's forced to revisit the life he fled--in particular, the seductive Mumsie McGonigle. It's not long before Bailey realizes that a trap has been set for him. The novel, scripted by the author, went on in the hands of Jacques Tourneur to become the cinema's most celebrated work of "film noir," starring Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, and Jane Greer.

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