Target Lancer

August 28th, 2012 by Max Allan Collins

Though the book won’t be out till November, we are starting to get some very nice notices on the new Heller. I was pleased (actually relieved) to see Publisher’s Weekly’s highly positive review.

Randy Johnson, at his Not the Baseball Pitcher web site, also has a nice TARGET LANCER write-up.

Asked about what he’s been reading, Bill Crider is quoted as saying he’s enjoying the ARC of TARGET LANCER. Knowing Bill, he’ll probably review the book closer to pub date.

Bookgasm has been very supportive of my work – although there have been occasional less than glowing notices there – but that fine site has posted a fantastic review of BYE BYE, BABY. This is not so belated as it seems: the reviewer is working from the paperback reprint. Incidentally, a surprising number of typos and a few historical goofs have been corrected in that edition. If you are a Heller fan (or maybe fanatic), that’s the version you’ll want to read. There’s a promise of a TARGET LANCER review in the Bookgasm write-up, as well.

Goodreads has a bunch of mostly positive reviews on CHICAGO LIGHTNING that you might find worthwhile.

Keeping up with my movie mentions, I want to recommend two this week. First, PARANORMAN is a first-rate 3-D movie (see it that way) with wonderful stop motion animation and terrific character design. It has kid appeal – it’s about a middle-school outsider who is bullied because he claims to see and talk to dead people – but it works just fine for adults, particularly those interested in horror and fantasy.

Second, HIT AND RUN is a great crime comedy melodrama that stars Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell (wasted on Showtime’s unpleasant HOUSE OF LIES) opposite her significant other, Dax Shepard, who also wrote and co-directed. Shepard, besides being the lucky bastard who gets to live with Kristen Bell (I say this as the lucky bastard who gets to live with the former Barbie Mull), is mostly known for playing villains in film comedies like EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH as well as holding down one of the leads on the TV series, PARENTHOOD. This is the kind of movie I used to see all the time in the ‘70s – quirky, walking the line between comedy and drama, with sharp, natural dialogue, lots of interesting characters, plus plenty of action (it’s a car chase movie). I’m also reminded of Don Westlake’s ‘60s and ‘70s comedy novels. You want to know how good this movie is? Tom Arnold is hilarious in it. So, in a much different way, are Bradley Cooper and Beau Bridges. It is in times in wonderfully poor taste, but in a much smarter way than most bad taste movies – including gags involving prison rape and racial stereotyping. It’s also a tender love story. I haven’t checked Rotten Tomatoes, but I bet at least half the critics hate this. Don’t listen to them.


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2 Responses to “Target Lancer”

  1. Gerard Saylor says:

    You and the rest of Cruisin’ are listed on the Awkward Band and Musician Photos on Facebook at #46 on the slideshow, a copy of the second image on

    I disagree on the awkwardness.

  2. Gerard Saylor says:

    Back on topic, I enjoy the movie reviews and commentary. Thanks.