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Pick-up Paperback – August 18, 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
Ever open up the paper and read a reported story -- not more than a column long -- about a crime, or near-crime, of tabloid interest, that you know has more involved details than what is reported? This is a book that could be based on one of those true-life experiences, deserving of more than a cursory reporting in the paper.
This is a psychological tale with a thriller's edge and a suggestion of criminality. The story centers on two seemingly blue-collared alcoholics attempting to find validity in lives that once promised and should mean and hold something more. As any good noir fiction, this is a story about an attempt to find a connection, with another like-minded individual, which comes close but ultimately fails. And of course, as any good noir fiction, it deals with a connection, which could have worked, if not for unfortunate and ill-fated timing.
The central character, Harry Jordan, if not admirable, is likeable and identifiable as a man who has not succeeded in failing; although, he has fallen markedly short of his own expectations. Jordan is an over-qualified greasy spoon counter-man, who has a surprising artistic pedigree. By happenstance, he meets Helen, who is a blueblood scion cum alcoholic attempting to escape herself and her heredity in each new town she encounters. Initially, the couple finds commonality in their mutual and separate love for alcohol.
How can two people who have so thoroughly disappointed themselves, join together and succeed as a couple - that is the obstacle faced by Harry and Helen. The suspense lies in whether they, as a couple, can salvage the remainder of their lives together. The fate of their love is pre-ordained. The mystery is how they ended-up at this level in the first place.Read more ›
The fun thing for Willeford readers is going through the abundance of published work over four decades. The man was amazingly prolific. Some of his earlier books have been re-printed; some are hard to find.
Willeford is the boss!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Charles Wilford's 1956 novel "Pick-Up" tells the story of two sad, lonely, alcoholic people, Harry Jordan, 32, and Helen Meredith, 33, who find each other briefly while wandering... Read morePublished on July 17, 2012 by Robin Friedman
In the course of a very interesting and experience rich life, Charles Willeford wrote many works of fiction. Read morePublished on May 16, 2004 by Michael G.
'Pick-Up' by cult crime novelist Charles Willeford is, surprise!, not really a crime story. It is actually a very depressing account of an alcoholic who finds love (.. Read morePublished on January 11, 2003 by lazza
I don't know that I'd have read this if the name Willeford had not been on the cover. It's about a self-destructive pair of alcoholics. Read morePublished on January 2, 2001 by D. P. Birkett
Although the book is well written, Willeford is not really suited to writing about pure losers. he does much better with con men, cops and obssessives.Published on December 29, 1999 by jim mckenna
This is the only Charles Willeford book that I have read, and I must say that the writing is terrific! The narrative is very involving and descriptive. Read morePublished on August 23, 1998 by firstname.lastname@example.org