PICK-UP CHARLES WILLEFORD 1955

Willeford`s second published novel after the odd High Priest Of California is a fine slice of kitchen noir, it`s protagonist being a failed down-on-his-luck painter who holes up with a dangerously alcaholic woman hitting the skids, the two of them deciding to drink themselves to death together LEAVING LAS VEGAS-style. Of course it`s not that simple, and Willeford`s trawl through the never-comfortably-seedy underbelly is a real page-turner full of surprises. None as surprising (or memorable) as the final couple of lines, which totallly turn the book on it`s head (considering the time it was written) and make you want to read it from the beginning again, not entirely unlike the anit-climatic device used in the AMERICAN PSYCHO movie years later.