July 08, 2005

No more 87th Precinct

Ed McBain has died.

Read tributes on Sarah Weinman's blog.

McBain was a penname for Evan Hunter who published many other types of fiction over more than half a century, including The Blackboard Jungle which was always so much cooler than either Up the Down Staircase or To Sir with Love.

But it was for the 87th Precinct novels that Hunter will be best known. The series was the archetypal police procedural, and it's impossible to imagine Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue without Steve Carella and Meyer Meyer and the 87th Precinct guys to lead the way.

I had the honor of translating one of the later McBain books called Eight Black Horses into German back when I lived in Berlin and in the weeks I spent tearing the book apart to find the right way to help German readers experience the story the way a native American speaker would---well, it was a great education in how a crime novel gets constructed. If you've never read McBain, do yourself a favor and pick up a few of them. Try some of the classics such as "Like Love" or "Let's Hear it for the Deaf Man" or "Heat" or "Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here".

Posted by krudman at July 8, 2005 01:28 PM | TrackBack
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