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We'll be talking about The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. This book has elements that have been incorporated into the mystery genre - murder, conspiracy, betrayal - but cannot be easily classed as a mystery itself. It is nominally an adventure story, but one so implausible, strange and ambiguous that it's real intent could be considered the mystery. First published in 1838, it influenced other major authors such as Herman Melville and Jules Verne.
In May, we'll discuss Bruno, Chief of Police, by Martin Walker, which sounds like a much kinder, gentler book than the dark, chaotic world of Arthur Gordon Pym. The focus is on food, wine, tradition and village life, but there is murder, politics and bureaucracy to contend with as well, so it's not all sweetness and light.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle received a lot of critical and popular acclaim when it came out in the early 70s. It was a realistic look at the world of organized and semi-organized crime in Boston at the time. It makes clear reference to the activities of men like Whitey Bulger and Howie Winter and the lesser known thugs who hung around them. As such, it was different than the sensational and often romanticized crime novels that were the typical depictions of that scene. In this meeting, I'd like to apply our combined reading to see where that form of crime has gone in the nearly 50 years since it appeared.