Beaumont(h) – Post 9/9

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Beaumont(h) – Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[358] THE TRIGGER (1958)

Best of Beaumont

3.5 out of 5 stars. 

The Plot:

Investigator Philip Ives doesn’t believe in unsolved cases, only open or closed ones. Assigned a case of seemingly-connected suicides, Ives searches for the trigger.

Not much of a detective story but enjoyable. It has a similar conceit to “Night Ride” (Post 7, note [264]), where someone is able to talk others into suicide/depression by using emotional pressure points.

[359] Reference:

Originals by Wyeth and Benton and Hopper studded the walls.

(p.204)

Thomas Hart Benton (1889 – 1975) was an American painter and muralist. He was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement. His fluid, sculpted figures showed everyday people in scenes of life in the United States.

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Beaumont(h) – Post 8/9

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Beaumont(h) Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[315] THE POOL (unpublished until 2000 collection)

A Touch of the Creature

5 out of 5 stars. 

The Plot:

Sleepless, Paul stands beside his dreaded pool in the middle of the night.

John Fowles’ Daniel Martin (1977) has scenes and themes which echo this piece (unintentional, since “The Pool” was unpublished until 2000). It’s odd to keep finding similarities between two authors who I would have considered to be so different (Post 6, note [227]).

[316] Reference:

The Japanese first made Pigeon’s Blood vases many years before Christ’s death and people thought only of their beauty; nowadays there are eccentric laws forbidding their manufacture.

(p.154)

There are still Pigeon Blood glassware and vases, but it seems to refer directly to the red color, not having been made from blood. Oddly, I can’t find any history of the term.

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Beaumont(h) – Post 7/9

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Beaumont(h) – Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[264] NIGHT RIDE (1957)

Perchance to Dream

3.5 out of 5 stars. 

The Plot:

A jazz group disintegrates when its members discover the deceit that brought them together.

Unlike “Black County” (Post 1, note [9]), the jazz-style of this one works extremely well. I don’t know what Beaumont’s doing differently but he learned something in the three years between the publication of the two stories. This one is good.

[265] Reference:

The kid swung into some chestnuts, like “St. James Infirmary” and “Bill Bailey.”

(p.293)

“(Won’t You Come Home) Bill Bailey”, originally titled “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?” is a popular song published in 1902. It is commonly referred to as simply “Bill Bailey.” Its words and music were written by Hughie Cannon (1877 – 1912), an American songwriter and pianist. It is still a standard with Dixieland and traditional jazz bands.

[266]

Davey Green wasn’t what you’d call a virtuoso, exactly. He didn’t hit all the notes. Only the right ones.

(p.294)

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Beaumont(h) – Post 6/9

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Beaumont(h) – Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[212] THE MURDERERS (1955)

The Hunger

4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Plot:

Two upper class thrill-seekers seek out a victim for a pleasure-killing. The tables are turned. And so is their house.

When Beaumont loosens up, the effect is tremendous. He’s having fun, I’m having fun. This story feels effortless.

[213] Opening lines:

The pale young man in the bright red vest leaned back, sucked reflectively at a Russian candy pellet – the kind with real Jamaican rum inside – and said, yawning – “Let’s kill somebody tonight.”

(p.139)

[214]

From the bathroom a fresco of a naked green woman without a face glowed; otherwise, the room was dark.

(p.139)

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Beaumont(h) – Post 5/9

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Beaumont(h) Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[166] LAST RITES (1955)

Best of Beaumont; Perchance to Dream 

3 out of 5 stars.

The Plot:

Father Courtney is summoned to his dying friend George Donovan’s house. Donovan wants to ask the Father a question – hypothetical, he claims: could a machine have a soul?

[167] Like “In His Image” (Post 3, note [116]) this one gives subtle nods to its futuristic setting:

Far above the fields, up near the clouds, a rocket launch moved swiftly, dragging its slow thunder behind it.

(p.219)

 

He went inside and pressed a yellow switch. The screen blurred, came into focus. The face of an old man appeared, filling the screen.

(p.220)

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Beaumont(h) – Post 4/9

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Beaumont(h) – Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[127] THE INFERNAL BOUILLABAISSE (1957)

Best of Beaumont; The Hunger

4 out of 5 stars.

The Plot:

Mr. Frenchaboy, president of the Gourmet’s club, will do anything to get Mr. Peskin’s Boillabaisse recipe.

[128] What is a Bouillabaisse?

A traditional Provencal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.

[129]

The meal, if it mattered, which it didn’t, was a masterpiece.

(p.180)

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Beaumont(h) – Post 3/9

beaumont-03

Beaumont(h) Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]


 

[87] THE HOWLING MAN (1959)

Perchance to Dream; Twilight Zone Original Stories

3 out of 5 stars. 

The Plot:

Young Bostonian David Ellington adventures across 1930’s Europe. After taking ill, he is brought to an isolated abbey where a man screams through each night. But no one at the abbey will admit the howling is real.

This story works until its heavy-handed end, when it links the atrocities and existence of Hitler to the howling man.

[88]

In that time, before I had heard of St. Wulfran’s, of the wretch who clawed the stones of a locked cell, wailing in the midnight hours, or of the daft Brothers and their mad Abbot, I had strong legs and a mind on its last search, and I preferred to be alone. A while and I’ll come back to this spot. We will ride and feel the sickness, fall, and hover on the edge of death, together. But I am not a writer, only one who loves wild, unhousebroken words; I must have a real beginning.

(p.79)

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