| || |
| || |
| || |
|TRIALS AND ERRORS|| |
|BOOKS ABANDONED|| |
|by Evan Hunter/Ed McBain|
I once started a book titled S.P.Q.R., about a young
screenwriter who goes to Rome to do a film about the
Roman Empire, and he gets overwhelmed and
overpowered by the director of the film. I got about a
hundred pages into it, and let it go.
I started another book on virtually the same theme,
titled THE FINAL KISS, which was about a young
screenwriter who goes to a small New England town to
do a movie titled hamlet (in lower case, in its meaning
as "town") which is a retelling of the Shakespeare play
in modern language. I gave that one up after 62 pages.
It was to be premised on the following epigraph:
Do you think the rules still apply, namely that an
appealing main character and a happy ending are still
No. The public has developed. There's no more need
for the final kiss.
I outlined a book titled THE LAST MAN ALIVE, which
was to be about a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust,
who is so certain it will happen to him again here in
America, that he trains for the eventuality, which leads
to disaster on a boat trip he takes with his wife and
another couple. I never got past the outline on this one.
These were all to be Evan Hunter novels.
Here are the notes for THE SUMMER OF PABLO'S
FOOT, another EH novel I never got around to write. The
novel was to begin this way:
I had already begun to hate him by then, you know. We
all start hating our fathers sooner or later, don't we?
This was during the summer of Pablo's Foot. If I heard
him tell me one more time how it came to be called
that, I knew that I would scream.
During the summer of Pablo's Foot, I was only
thirty-nine. I mean, I wouldn't be forty till September. I'd
been to Woodstock, you know. In 1969. I was one of the
people there, swimming naked in the pond. Twenty
years later, what infuriated me most about him was his
And this was how the novel would end:
On September the twelfth, I turned forty.
I recognized then that during the summer of Pablo's
Foot, he'd been right all along.
But that's all I wrote.
I've never started an 87th Precinct novel I didn't finish.
© Evan Hunter