Archive for Patrick Baird

Beatnik Spy Book Four

treasuredamnedclip

…is titled: “The Treasure of the Damned.” Europe, 1957. Gunner tours the continent as an in-demand jazz horn player, but his real work remains smuggling and intrigue. True to form, he soon finds himself in hot water, surrounded by beautiful women, hunted by killers, and drawn into the dark web of centuries old evil…

Work has commenced on the first draft, hope to have it published by year’s end.

Beatnik Spy in Paperback!

The Red Jade Door

Coming in 2014…

Sign up for our email list to be notified when the Beatnik Spy Series is available in classic, old-school, sleazy paperback!

Also…

…more Gunner Quinn adventures coming this year!

Merry XXmas!

BPM026cover

It’ another issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine and it’s yet another one of my tipsy tales: “The Gift of the Hipsters.” It’s a modern, yet retro take on the O. Henry Christmas classic.

Get into the holiday spirits early and order your copy!

bachelorpadmagazinebanner

History of the Badass

website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I have so much free time on my hands (hah!) I’ve gone out and created another blog: History of the Badass. It’s just what it sounds like, an examination of the rich history and origins of the figure of the Badass in our culture. Topics will include hard-boiled fiction, Great Badass Movie Moments, movie and book reviews, Badass figures in real life, and much more. My basic premise is that the modern Badass is a synthesis of two 20th Century developments: hard-boiled protagonists and the ethos of cool.

Due to the amount of time that I’ll be spending with posting on History of the Badass, I will be turning the focus of this site to news and promotion regarding my writing. Hopefully, there will be plenty of news in the future for fans of The Beatnik Spy.

The Yeti Martini

BPM025cover

I’ve got another gem of a short story coming in the next issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine, “The Yeti Martini.” Two gentlemen of leisure are spinning yarns over scotch and cigars when one of them reveals the existence of The Yeti Martini – the world’s most mysterious and priceless cocktail. Could you handle – just one – Yeti Martini?

Bachelor Pad Magazine features some of the world’s most beautiful burlesque performers and a variety of articles and stories from all corners of the modern jet set.

Check it out here:

Bachelor Pad

China Tampico

canstockphoto9896128

Black Rum and Dynamite was still unfinished when I found her. Taking a break from writing, I was browsing canstockphoto.com, when her enigmatic smile and pert bare bottom caught my eye. I hadn’t even named the character yet, but I knew this was the face (and bottom) of Gunner’s latest conquest.

Her name is China (pronounced Chee-na) Tampico. Gunner finds her hiding below decks following a ferocious gun battle off the coast of Cuba. From that point forward, China’s true loyalties and mysterious past keep Gunner guessing, but not enough for him to turn her aside when her passionate arms close around him…

Check out China Tampico’s story in Black Rum and Dynamite, available in all E-formats.

Black Rum & DynamiteBlack Rum & Dynamite

Gunner Quinn is Back!

He finished the last beer and picked up the pistol, pointing it at the door. He tuned out the street noise from outside and focused his attention on the hallway outside his room. After a few minutes he heard footsteps on the stairs at the far end. Then they ended abruptly. A long rug ran down the middle of the hall. He could just make out a slight shuffling sound moving his way.

The shuffling stopped just short of his door. Someone whispered, short and intense. Shadows moved in the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.

Someone knocked.

Remembering how short Bilotti was, he lowered the aim of his gun a few inches.

Havana, 1956. As Cuba boils with revolutionary violence, Gunner Quinn finds himself back on the  CIA payroll, hot on the trail of a gang of mysterious gun runners. Along the way, he dodges bullets, bombs, and the hungry passions of a beautiful woman named China Tampico…

Book Three of the Beatnik Spy Series has arrived: Black Rum & Dynamite. The action picks up where The Godhead Formula and The Red Jade Door left off; Gunner crosses paths in pre-Castro Cuba with mobsters, communist rebels, and deadly black magic.

Gunner’s trumpet playing has never been better and there was no better place to play than swinging old Cuba. But trouble finds him and soon he has switched his horn for his trusted M1911 .45. Bullets fly, bombs explode, and sinister voodoo rhythms hang in the air.

Black Rum & Dynamite is available on all platforms.

Black Rum & DynamiteBlack Rum & Dynamite

Flight of the Phoenix

Taking your son to a testosterone enriched classic Men’s Adventure movie is an important obligation for any good father. My Dad took me to see “The Dirty Dozen.” I took my son to see “Goldfinger.”

If there was a short list of movies perfect for Father/Son sharing, “Flight of the Phoenix (1965)” would be on it. It’s a perfect Men’s Adventure movie, featuring three manly themes: perseverance in the face of adversity, struggling for moral leadership, and fixing shit.

After recently re-watching the movie for the umpteenth time on Turner Classic Movies, I sought out the original novel the film was based on, by Elleston Trevor. It’s a terrific read, taut and lean. The movie is pretty faithful to the book, which tells the story of a cargo plane carrying oil riggers and spare parts across the Libyan desert which crashes in the midst of a fierce sandstorm. Driven hundreds of miles off course, far from any civilization or oasis with no hope of rescue, the survivors are convinced by another passenger, an aircraft designer, to build a new plane from the wreckage and fly back to safety. Along the way, some go mad, others are killed by bandits, and the group nearly falls apart due to internal conflict.

The movie is gifted with an awesome all-male cast, headed by a grizzled Jimmy Stewart as the pilot and Sir Richard Attenborough as the navigator. Along for the ride are some of the greatest character actors ever: George Kennedy, Dan Duryea, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Finch, and Ian Bannen, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role. One change from the novel is to make the twitchy aircraft engineer a German, brilliantly portrayed by Hardy Kruger.

In the wake of his recent passing, I’d like to put in a few kind words for Ernest Borgnine. How many great Men’s Adventure movies did he elevate by his presence? “The Dirty Dozen,”"The Wild Bunch,”"Ice Station Zebra,”"The Vikings,” etc. For me, he will always be Lt. Commander Quinton McHale, an important figure that factored into my personal decision to join the Navy. True to his example, I did eventually wind up serving in “McHale’s Navy,” as one exasperated petty officer shouted at me when he found out I was a minesweeper sailor. (My haircut and uniform were not up to Navy standards, which led me to be handcuffed to a chair in the shore patrol office in Alameda. Long story.)

They remade “Flight of the Phoenix” in 2005 starring Dennis Quaid, adding a woman to the cast, which proves that the 21st Century sucks. That movie certainly did.

Read the book and sit down with your son to share a handful of classic Men’s Adventure DVDs some night.

Men’s Adventure on Goodreads

I recently discovered Goodreads (www.goodreads.com) and I think it’s a terrific site for both writers and readers. There are tons of discussions centered around books and authors, for nearly every reading interest.

Now, thanks to yours truly, there is a discussion group specifically devoted to Men’s Adventure.

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/103026-men-s-adventure

The group aims to celebrate classic works of men’s adventure fiction, but also to support writers of contemporary men’s adventure fiction. We’re looking to stimulate sharing and discussing writers and works of Men’s Adventure and perhaps to even define: “What is Men’s Adventure?”

Join the discussion!

Lord Jim

Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad, is a classic novel of men’s adventure, a deep and moving examination of the nature of moral character and courage.

Jim is the first mate of the Patna, a dilapidated steamer transporting pilgrims to Mecca. The ship strikes an underwater obstruction in the middle of the night, and fearing that the ship is about to sink, the crew panics and abandons the passengers to their fate. Jim at first resists this cowardly act, but somehow finds himself in the lifeboat with the Captain and other white crewmen. When they are rescued, they find that the Patna never sank, the pilgrims all survived, and they all face charges back in port.

More than once, characters express their sorrow at Jim’s failure. A bright, promising young man – “He was one of us” they bemoan.

After losing his sailing papers, Jim drifts throughout the South Pacific, from one menial seaport job to another. At each stop, he is recognized and he is driven further away from civilization by shame. Along the way, he engages the sympathies of a ship captain named Marlow, who does his best to aid him.

Marlow arranges for Jim to take on the administration of a remote trading post in the Malaysian kingdom of Patusan. Here, cut off from western civilization and his past, Jim triumphs and rises to earn the title of Tuan Jim or “Lord” Jim. Just as it looks as though he will redeem himself, Jim stumbles, however, and the book ends on a tragic note.

Lord Jim is highly regarding by critics, due to its sophisticated storytelling. Jim’s tale unfolds primarily from the viewpoint of Marlow, and the reader is left to piece together the central mystery of Jim’s soul through scattered anecdotes, conversations, and letters. Conrad is regarded a master prose stylist; there are certainly moments of beauty and arresting description in Lord Jim, but I think he occasionally goes on a bit. There are passages where three pages of text could easily have been boiled down to one, which makes Lord Jim (and much of Conrad’s work) a challenge for modern readers.

However, I do think it is well worth the effort. Lord Jim is a superb study of the notions of honor and courage and how difficult it is to live up to the expectations of a hypocritical society.

Lord Jim was adapted to film in 1965, starring Peter O’Toole as Jim. It’s passable entertainment, but it largely fails to match the original as a work of psychological depth.