Unbiased Gift-Giving (and Book Collecting) Advice

December 4th, 2018 by Max Allan Collins

Just when I was thinking the last update’s self-aggrandizing gift list suggestions were as far as even I could shamelessly go, along comes an Amazon sale to give me a chance to outdo myself.

Half a dozen of my Nathan Heller books are on sale all throughout the month of December at Amazon. The Kindle e-books are a mere 99 cents, and the physical books (remember those…books you can hold in your hands?) are half-price.

This includes True Crime, True Detective, The Million-Dollar Wound, Neon Mirage, Stolen Away, Angel in Black, Chicago Lightning and Triple Play. The latter two are a short story collection and a trio of short novels (the rest are novels).

You can find them right here.

Earlier I thought that all of the Heller novels prior to the recent batch at Tor Forge were included, but it’s a little more limited than that.

At any rate, if you have holes to fill in your collections, or are looking to turn others on to Nate Heller and me (and by so doing help insure more Heller books will come along in the future), this is the place to make that Christmas miracle come true.

I have other gift suggestions, too, for books I didn’t write. Sounds like the Christmas spirit, huh? Not so fast. I want now to recommend several books that originally appeared in Japanese but were translated by someone calling himself Nathan A. Collins (he claims the “A” stands for “Allan”).

Seriously, though, Nate is a wonderful writer (I said “unbiased”) and these are good books. One of them has a peculiar title – I Want to Eat Your Pancreas () – which is not a horror novel but a very good book about an unusual and oddly touching friendship. It was a bestseller in Japan, which I believe is why the American publisher did not want to change the title.

Nate also translated a thriller that was made into a rather famous anime feature – Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis () – which explores the phenomenon of young female pop stars (rather a creepy if real thing), one of whom attracts a particularly nasty stalker. Nate also translated Perfect Blue: Awaken from a Dream (), a collection of three stories by the same author on the same subject.

The most famous of Nate’s translations is Battle Royale (), which was the “inspiration” for Hunger Games, and an internationally successful film. That’s been out a while. Most current novel is Zodiac War () (Nate also translated the manga version (). This is a science-fiction/fantasy adventure, a super-hero/villain variation on Battle Royale.

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Some recent things on the Net that you may wish to check out….

This is a fun discussion of movie tie-in novels, and several of mine are included.

Be sure to take in this nice appreciation of the Quarry TV series, which includes a celebration of Quarry’s creator, whose name I’m too modest to mention.

Once again Road to Perdition (the film and the graphic novel) are mentioned prominently on a list called (wait for it)“10 Obscure Comic Books That Were Turned Into Movies.”

Here is an oral history of how I created the new Robin and then DC fans rose up and killed him.

Finally, here’s a very good review of my first Quarry novel, which is called Quarry (and not The First Quarry).


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5 Responses to “Unbiased Gift-Giving (and Book Collecting) Advice”

  1. Thomas Zappe says:

    Max, in light of all the research going into SCARFACE AND THE UNTOUCHABLE, are there any amendments/revisions that you would be tempted to make in your earlier depictions of Capone and Ness, especially in the early Heller books?

  2. Funny you should bring this up. My SCARFACE AND THE UNTOUCHABLE co-author, Brad Schwartz, helped me on Ness research for the upcoming Nathan Heller novel, DO NO HARM, due out in early 2020. DO NO HARM, about the Sam Sheppard murder case, takes place largely in Cleveland, and part of what the novel covers is essentially the end of the Ness/Heller story (an oddity that we turned up in research is that the house Ness lived in, in Cleveland, was very close to the Sheppard house…almost nextdoor).

    Anyway, Brad had some comments, even objections, about how Ness was portrayed in DO NO HARM, since his character didn’t always jibe with what we have learned about the nature of the real Ness. I pointed out to Brad that I wasn’t doing the real Ness — I was doing the Ness character as he developed and was used in the Heller novels (and my four Cleveland novels about Ness), and it was more important to be consistent with those novels than with the new things we’d learned about the real man. Brad, who is a Heller fan, completely understood that. I have sometimes have the opposite problem on the non-fiction side, when the real Ness doesn’t live up to the fictionalized, slightly romanticized one I created. But non-fiction has its needs, and fiction has its needs.

  3. Thomas Zappe says:

    And we all need for you to keep writing as you do so well. Have a great holiday season.

  4. Brian Van Winkle says:

    Damon Herriman as Charles Manson?!? I can NOT wait to see that.

  5. Sean Kelly says:

    My daughter and I were just talking about I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, It was playing on my plane back to the states. (We will now be living in Huntsville, AL, because my time as a government employee in Japan has concluded its five-year mission). I look forward to finding these books. It was a lovely movie.