Thursday Quotables – The Real Cool Killers

THE REAL COOL KILLERS (Chester Himes) - When a group of punks kidnapped Coffin Ed's daughter, they really didn't know what big trouble they were getting into.

She was as tall as his six feet two, with snow white hair cut short as a man’s and brushed straight back from her forehead. Her lips were painted carnation red and her eyelids silver but her smooth unlined jet black skin was untouched. She wore a black sequined evening gown with a red rose in the V of her mammoth bosom, which was a lighter brown than her face. She looked like the last Amazons blackened by time.

Chester Himes – The Real Cool Killers

quotation-marks4There are many reasons why I like Chester Himes’s stories in spite of their unevenness in quality. He has a gift for language, reading his stories is like listening to him recounting them so vivid they are. He has a gritty feel for characters and situations that lend credibility to both even when the story is so unlikely it becomes surreal. He creates cameo characters so strong that they nearly demands to become main characters (which is what actually happened with his two most famous characters, Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones).

To me, this quote is a perfect example of this last instance.


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About the Author

I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.
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