Item description for Nightfall by Bill Pronzini David Goodis...
"An almost perfect book, spare, balanced, and inexplicably moving."-Geoffrey O'Brien
Jim Vanning has an identity crisis. Is he an innocent artist who just happens to have some very dangerous people interested in him? Or is he a killer on the lam from his last murder-with a satchel worth over $300,000 in tow?
Relentlessly focused, Nightfall may be David Goodis' most accomplished novel. It is a fiendishly constructed maze, filled with unpredictable pitfalls and human predators whose authenticity only makes them more terrifying.
David Goodis (19171967), a former pulp, radio, and Hollywood script writer, is now recognized as a leading author of crime fiction. Besides sojourns in New York City and Hollywood, he lived primarily in Philadelphia.
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Release Date May 1, 2007
Publisher Millipede Press
ISBN 1933618183 ISBN13 9781933618180
Reviews - What do customers think about Nightfall?
A Man's Desperate Struggle Aug 6, 2003
This is a story of a man's struggle to regain his life after circumstances conspired against him. Jim Vanning is facing a grim future. He is being pursued by gangsters and police in relation to a robbery and a murder. We come in on the story as Vanning feels the net closing in tightly around him, but we are also given the feeling that he doesn't have the answer to the question that everyone will want to know. Where is the money?
The story is stark and grim as Vanning's predicament appears hopeless. His obvious feelings of helplessness are portrayed vividly as he searches around for a way to clear his name.
Although it's written in a spare style, Goodis doesn't waste a word as he concentrates on painting Vanning into a corner, he still manages to find time to introduce us to his all-important peripheral characters, Fraser the cop, John the gangster and Martha the love interest. All are integral to the outcome of the mystery and are given just enough attention to make them interesting.
a paranoid and claustrophic thriller with something missing Dec 23, 2002
'Nightfall' is a short novel by David Goodis, written at the height of his career (in the early 1950s). True to form, Goodis focuses on a single character and his angst. This time we have a man who has difficulty remembering the details of his involvement with $300,000 taken in a bank heist. On his tail are the bank robbers and the police. One fully appreciates this man's plight. However this alone didn't capivate this reader. Why?
Authors like David Goodis and Patricia Highsmith who specialise on suspense and apprehension of a leading character (typically a victim or a criminal) succeed when there are additional characters and/or circumstances that 'fill out' the story. However 'Nightfall' is really a one-dimensional story. The author fails to build on an interesting sub-plot involving a police detective, with the help of his wife, chasing our poor central character. Before long I found 'Nightfall' to be a tedious read.
Bottom line: certainly a must read for those into 'noir' fiction. Others will probably find it too dark, depressing and claustrophobic.
A Classic Mar 24, 1999
Wonderful story of a man on the run from the law, and the sympathetic policeman who takes an interest in his case. A beautiful book, spare and haunting. Not a wasted word. Goodis sometimes reaches for poetry in his tales, but here he achieves it with a delicate poise. Very atypical of the bulk of Goodis's output, and probably not the place to start, but this is one of the great post-WW2 thrillers, and as close as anyone's ever come to evoking film noir on the page.