- Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Carroll & Graf (December 20, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786706686
- ISBN-13: 978-0786706686
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Burnt Orange Heresy Mass Market Paperback – December 20, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
James Figueras is a low rent art critic. He's wangled a posting to Palm Beach but he's saddled with dim prospects and an annoying girlfriend, Berenice Hollis. He's on the lookout for his one big break and it comes when he receives information that one of the most influential, but enigmatic, artists of the Twentieth Century has moved to Florida. A big collector offers to tell him where to find the artist, Jacques Debierue, if he'll steal one of the artist's works in exchange for the information.
In addition to a deftly rendered crime novel, Willeford proceeds to treat us to a devastatingly funny send up of Modern Art and the pseudo-intellectual theories that spawned it.
Many of Charles Williford's novels have gone out of print, which is unfortunate as his writing stands with the best noir writers. The Burnt Orange Heresy is a mean read, with shocks and twists galore. Some of the plot seems a bit far-fetched, but Williford writes so skillfully that the book withstands this flaw beautifully. Williford also has a real eye for detail and takes great advantage of the Miami and Florida settings. Overall, I highly recommended this novel, especially for fans of noir writers (e.g., Chandler, Jim Thompson).
In this novel about a corrupt Miami art critic who favors menthol cigarettes, pegged trousers, and buxom blondes, and who talks about his career as his "racket," Willeford expands the traditional limits of crime writing. There are some very amusing asides about art and art history -- subjects the author knew well, having been a failed painter himself -- and the psychological suspense remains taut throughout, even if the killing itself seems a little far-fetched. Even so, the invention of an expatriate French surrealist living in the Everglades is a bold move for a writer known for a noir palette.
Please reprint this book!
Jacques Figueras is the art critic pushed into stealing from a reclusive painter.
First Willeford, but not likely my last.
Some call Willeford's writing dry, but I find it clean, refreshing and subtle at times without being dry or dull.
If you like any type of noir, I would definitely give this a shot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the classic work here. Hard to get a hold of and what the internet is for. GET IT!Published 8 months ago by William M. Neal
A nifty, unusual gem from this famous "pulp" author. Lots of funny barbs at the art world in general, critics in particular, and a delightfully amoral narrator.Published 16 months ago by Hector Nineteen
This one at least I received so far. Still reading. Wondering where the rest of my order will arrive. Maybe today!Published on August 26, 2014 by Jonathan W Zeh
I read it because I heard Willeford was part of the triumvirate of Noir power-hitters that included Jim Thompson (who I love!) and David Goodis (also very cool). Read morePublished on February 14, 2009 by Op. 133
I wish I can give 'The Burnt Orange Heresy' the same sort of glowing review the others have posted. However despite its originality (at the time it was written) and overall... Read morePublished on January 12, 2003 by lazza
Willeford's interrogation of the battle between Christianity and Platonism with Sophistic postmodernism is so concretely placed within Miami's seething Bohemian art world as a... Read morePublished on September 7, 2002 by Bob Swain