Friday, May 28, 2010

"Wine Without Music," by Paul Powers and John Powers, is Now at A Twist of Noir

"Wine Without Music," a short story co-written by my grandfather, Paul Powers, and my father, John H. Powers, is now up at A Twist of Noir. There is an introduction that discusses how I found this story along with a brief biography of the two authors. You can access the introduction separately from the story if you want.

This is the first time this story has been made public.

Over the weekend, please take a look at the story and let us know, either here or over at ATON, what you think of it.

I want to thank Christopher Grant over at A Twist of Noir for his enthusiasm over posting this story.

15 comments:

Deka Black said...

:D read for the night. Noir with coffee and jazz music. (i read noir with jazz playing low in te background. Helps me build the mood for the story)

Paul D. Brazill said...

I'll settle down to it about ... NOW!

Barry Traylor said...

Wow! What a stunning story. Thanks so much for sharing. As far as I am concerned Laurie your Grandfather wrote a horror story.
Started slow but then it grabbed me and would not let go.

Walker Martin said...

Usually I just don't like online fiction and avoid reading examples on my computer, so for me to keep reading this story instead of skimming, means it was an unusual story. Probably the ending was considered too controversial and objectionable and thus it never was published. However, I think the digest crime magazine, MANHUNT, would have printed it since they published this type of story during the 1953-1960 period.

It's funny how drinkers vary in the ways they handle alcohol. Three beers is usually my limit and I definitely don't like room spinning, blackouts, and sickness involved in getting drunk. So it's been such a long time that I can't remember the last time I had too much to drink. Maybe at my high school reunion? That's enough to drive anyone to drink. Another one is coming up and maybe I'll survive it.

Thanks for showing us this story Laurie and I really think that MANHUNT would have considered printing it.

Laurie Powers said...

I hope you enjoy it Deka.

Paul, thanks for your kind words on ATON and on Facebook - I'm glad you liked it because your opinion means a lot.

Barry, it's interesting that you say that about it being a horror story. I didn't know what to do with it when I first read it.

Walker, I don't know if this was ever submitted after it was written. It wasn't with any correspondence and was separate from all the stories that had been sent out. I have a feeling they didn't submit it because of the controversy.

Chap O'Keefe said...

A story whose time has come in terms of finding an appreciative audience. The authors made no concessions that would compromise the authenticity of their story's subject matter. This alone is probably the only reason why the story didn't see, or wasn't submitted for, publication at the time of its writing. Indeed, many genre editors and publishers still don't have the stomach for grittiness of its kind. Fortunately there are now other outlets, as has been ably shown.

Walker's remark about Manhunt is interesting. I have a few UK reprints of that magazine, under the Bloodhound title. From memory, Ed McBain (Salvatore Lombino) had a couple of stories, as Hunt Collins, that came close to similar darkness in theme and ending.

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Barry Traylor said...

I agree with Walker regarding MANHUNT. When I was reading the story my first thought was that it felt very much like a yarn that would have fit that mag like a glove. I suppose you have no idea if your Grandfather ever submitted any of these in the 1950's? From stories like this I feel he could have made the transition to Crime Fiction in the 50's.

Ron Scheer said...

As I said over at ATON, this is a well polished story. That it was a father-son creation is amazing given the open-wound portrayal of the subject. It pretends to masquerade as a noir-crime story yet goes way beyond fiction in its realism. There's also so much self-revelation, it would surely have been painful for one person to write let alone father and son, both drawing on personal experience.

Tension works on several levels. Besides the self-deluding but obviously empty promises to stay sober in the early scene, there are those hints about borderline sex offences that are far more unsettling. The ending, while horrifying, still triggers sorrow for this man. The way the story ends is masterful in how it handles this - the classic unreliable narrator framing what has happened as an act of love.

Thanks for getting this story finally into print. It deserves an audience.

Michael Solender said...

A fabulous piece and a real tribute to your heritage thanks for sharing it with the world.

Laurie Powers said...

Barry, if we could just turn back the clock. It's very ironic, because most of what he tried to sell in the 50s were Westerns. I think he just buried the noir pieces and never sent them out.

Ron, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. You are right on about the self-deluding aspects - they really are spot on.

Thanks, Michael, and stick around. I'll be sending out into the world more brand new PP stuff in the near future.

Deka Black said...

I just could say, 5 years ago, when i was working on the mountains (re-foesting it after a fire), i knowed a man with drink problems. is.. well, let me say this way: until today i am very, very afraid of alcohol, and drink very rarely.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I'm a genuine two beer man and find it hard to understand alcoholism, but I know that many people are trapped by it. This is a wonderfully revealing look at how it must be to be an alcoholic. Chilling and sad. The other aspect of the protagonist was even more horrible. An excellent piece of writing and I thank you again for sharing it with us.

Laurie Powers said...

Deka: Yes, I quit drinking too, mainly because of what it did to my father.

Bob: I'm glad you liked the story. Thanks for expressing the appreciation.