Category Archives: Carry On

I’m Interviewed By Richard Godwin

I recently had a Chin Wag at Richard Godwin’s Slaughterhouse. 

Paul Brazill is the master of Brit grit and hardboiled. His stories and novels ring like a chime out of a gangster flick, one with heavy overtones of London. He is adept at using contemporary culture to highlight and augment the inherent drama in his fictions, which are peopled with low lifes and hustlers. Paul met me at The Slaughterhouse, where we talked about Brit Grit and his new work.  

What are you writing right now?

‘The Days of Danny Spencer’. It’s the story of a disgraced ex-copper trying to put his life back together. It’s a London-set urban western, after a fashion

If you were to write a Carry On what would it be titled, and who among present actors would you cast in the lead roles?

It would be Carry On Expendables

Sly Stallone could do the Sid James parts, Jean-Claude Van Damme would be a great Kenneth Williams, soppy old Ryan Gosling would be Jim Dale and Arnie could be the new Babs Windsor, for obvious reasons.

Is Brit Grit on the rise and does it lack the sentimental addiction to resolution that classifies much crime writing, particularly that churned out by the industry?

Brit Grit is bedraggled and unkempt and there’s a lot of it about! Martin Stanley, Robert Cowan, Tom Liens, Aidan Thorn and Paul Heatley, for example, all write books that are away from the mainstream and aren’t interested in tidying things up.

What else is on the cards for you this year

Fahrenheit 13 will be rebooting my seaside noir Kill Me Quick! And I have another seaside noir coming out later this year from All Due Respect/ Down and Out Books. It’s called Last Year’s Man. It’s like Takeshi Kitano mixed with Alan Bennett.

Thank you Paul for a classic interview.’

Martin Stanley Reviews Too Many Crooks

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Over at Goodreads, ace Brit Grit writer Martin Stanley says:

‘Fast moving, funny, crime caper with Brazill’s usual abundance of wordplay, in-jokes, and crooks looking to get one-over on each other. It is a mix of the Quentin Tarantino multi-character McGuffin (in this case, of a Nazi ring) and a Carry-On film. It never takes itself seriously and is all the more entertaining for it. Highly recommended.’

 

 

Failing Better: Brit Grit Comedy

ladykillers1“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!” – Charlie Chaplin

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’” – Samuel Becket.

As Chaplin showed, there has always been a dark aspect to British comedy and, indeed, there is also usally a sharp, shot of humour in British dark fiction. Tragicomedy that errs on the side of the tragic, perhaps.

A perfect home for life’s perpetual failures, then.

Think of Alexander Mackendrick’s classic 1955 film The Ladykillers where a group of gangsters hole-up in a cute little old ladies house and take turns trying to kill her. They fail, of course.

Or try the eponymous character created by comedian Tony Hancock in the 1950s who, on radio, on television and in film, tried his hand at so many different activities and failed. One episode –The Bedsitter – teeters dangerously on the precipice of bleak existentialism. The Bedsitter is a one-room set, one-man-show, where Hancock endlessly flips through a Bertrand Russell tome trying to find meaning in life, but fails, of course. As Hancock said: ‘Stone me, what a life!’

And more: Sixties sit-com The Worker had the perpetually unemployed Charlie Drake regularly annoying Mr Pugh at the employment centre, trying lots of jobs and failing at all of them. One of the United Kingdom’s longest running television series, Only Fools and Horses, featured wheeling and dealing market stall traders whose scams always failed but who genuinely believed that ‘This time next year, we’ll be millionaires.’

Indeed, if the shiny happy American comedy series Friends had been made in the UK it would probably have ended up more like Sartre’s No Exit since hell truly is THOSE people.

So, if crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order, then perhaps British comedy is pure noir.

Or maybe, it’s just the weather.

(This post first appeared at Sue Coletta’s blog)

Jason Beech Reviews Guns Of Brixton

GOBOver at his blog, ace crime writer JASON BEECH SAYS:

‘Guns of Brixton is a mutt, bred from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Pulp Fiction, The Sweeney, and the Carry On films. All of this could have been a mushy stew, but Brazill has such a way with words and structure that this is all its own thing. It’s funny, as his books always are, extremely silly, but utterly engaging.’

READ THE REST HERE!