May 8, 2008
Photo of Sunset Boulevard by Ilpo Sojourn used under a Creative Commons license.
Stanley Crawford, Gascoyne (Overlook, 2005).
A black comedy of Los Angeles in the early 1960s. Gascoyne is a private investigator who also seems to own half the town and to run local politicians, all of which he does from his car as he outsmarts traffic and red lights and talks on his phone. Things start with a murder, away from which Gascoyne espies the chief of police and a man in a sloth costume – among others – sneaking. Things spiral from there. Just as Gascoyne never lets traffic signals stop him, Crawford never loses momentum.
Michael Ventura welcomed Gascoyne’s republication in 2005. This review appeared in The Augusta Chronicle. JK liked it, and Buckie too. And Andy Jaysnovitch, though it’s not clear he read it.
Buy this book at Amazon.com.
April 14, 2008
Photo of a garlic farmer in Las Cruces (not Crawford) by lisacchamberlain used under a Creative Commons license.
Stanley Crawford, A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm (HarperPerennial, 1993).
Crawford has lived on El Bosque Farm in Dixon, in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains, for two decades or so. He and his wife Rose Mary grow garlic in this small town north of Santa Fe, about halfway between Taos and Espanola. This book follows the course of the four seasons of a single year, in the course of which there is plenty of time for Crawford to relate observations about local vultures and magpies, building with adobe bricks, irrigation and fertilizer, and how to harvest and sell garlic.
SpiceLines visited Crawford in Dixon; here is the first of his posts about it. Bee’s Wing read the book too. And in Organic Wine JournalJonathan Russo and Deborah Grayson say Crawford is an example of New Mexico counterculture growing.
Buy it at Amazon.com.