Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael was one of the first critics to really jump on the SHOOTERS bandwagon back in 1997. Not only did he write a glowing review of it for the DETROIT FREE PRESS, he made it one of his TOP TEN NOVELS OF THE YEAR (a list that only included nine titles, by the way). He has mentioned the book in interviews and blog posts over the years, so when it came time to reprint SHOOTERS for the e-world, I felt he would be the perfect person to write an afterword for the piece. Thankfully, he agreed with me.

I started writing a pithy list of Lev's accomplishments and then realized I was leaving half of it out, so I'm just going to reprint his bio from the Huffington Post:

Lev Raphael is the author of the memoir-travelogue My Germany and nineteen other books in genres from mystery to memoir. Notoriously cranky Kirkus Reviews called it "cleansing and passionate." Raphael is best known as a pioneer in writing fiction and creative non-fiction about the children of Holocaust survivors, which he's been publishing since 1978. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and he's done hundreds of invited talks and readings on three continents. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and England and will appear soon inPromised Lands: New Jewish American Fiction on Longing and Belonging. 

Raphael's academic mystery series has earned raves from the NYTBR and many other newspapers and magazines and he has been the keynoter at international conferences. Raphael is also the winner of the Lambda Literary Award among other prizes and has written hundreds of reviews and essays for The Detroit Free Press,Jerusalem Report, Forward, The Washington Post, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram,Boston Review and Lambda Book Report. He escaped academia in 1988 to write and review full-time. A former radio talk show host and DJ, he currently reviews for WKAR 90.5 FM in East Lansing, MI and writes the Book Brunch column forBibliobuffet.com.  His latest novel is Rosedale in Love: A Gilded Age Novel. Raphael's web site is http://www.levraphael.com. Follow him on Twitter @LevRaphael.

And here is the AFTERWORD Lev wrote for SHOOTERS:

In the decade or so that I reviewed mysteries and thrillers for the Detroit Fee Press, I may have enjoyed lots of them, but there are only a few that I've ever bothered to re-read, and the only one I've read three times is Shooters.

My editor used to send me boxes of books from various publishers and because I got so many at a time, and was only reviewing 4-5 for my monthly column, I had to make quick decisions based on only a few pages. Shooters won me over immediately. It brilliantly captures the gleaming, seductive menace of that city built for noir in a voice that's so crisp and haunting that I've used the opening pages in creative writing workshops more than once. I can still remember scenes and lines--that's how dazzled I was.

It is in my mind one of the best LA thrillers ever written, a book that more people should know about, a book I continue to recommend wherever and whenever I can. Sexy, dark, fiercely intelligent, it's a novel of deep and lasting power.

Lev Raphael, author of Rosedale in Love: A Gilded Age Novel
newly available on Kindle & Nook

Thanks again, Lev!

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