The High Stakes of Poetry and Crime Fiction: MysteryPeople Q&A with Erica Wright and Melissa Ginsburg

  • Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz

Poetry and crime fiction? As a reader, they don’t seem to have much in common. And yet plenty of crime writers also happen to write, read, and recommend poetry. For National Poetry Month, that is, April, we reached out via email to a few of our favorite crime writers/poets for a fresh take on why the same mind might appreciate two such different genres.

In part two of this series, we sent along some questions to two crime writers also known for their poetry – Melissa Ginsburg and Erica Wright. The two also happen to be friends, brought together by their shared affinity for poetry and pulp. Originally from Houston, Melissa Ginsburg now teaches at the University of Mississippi and, like many of our favorite crime writers, lives in Oxford, Mississippi. She’s published a book of poetry, Dear Weather Ghostand a steamy noir set in Houston titled Sunset City. 

Erica Wright has a long list of publications and credentials – she’s the poetry editor at Guernica literary magazine, as well as one of their senior editors, and she’s written a whole host of poetry books, as well as two crime novels. Her latest work of poetry is All The Bayou Stories End With Drownedand she’s currently two books in to a private eye series set in New York City, featuring a wry, kick-ass heroine – the most recent is titled The Granite Moth.

Before I could figure out what to ask, I first brushed up on the overlap between crime writers and poets in this excellent piece by Janet Hutchings, the editor of Ellory Queen Mystery Magazine (EQMM). She mentions a strong connection between crime fiction and poetry going back to early crime writers such as Frederic Dannay, one of the founders of EQMM, as well as Dorothy Sayers, and also mentions a number of prominent poets interested in writing tales of suspense, including Dylan Thomas and Ogden Nash. I wondered what fascinates a poet about mysteries, or a mystery writer about poetry – the highbrow stature of poetry and the lowbrow status of mysteries seem diametrically opposed, at least to many readers.

 “…Poets and crime writers are working with the same raw materials—with confusion and uncertainty—but their approaches are different,” Erica Wright explains. “Poets are trying to live with chaos, and crime writers are trying to fix it.”

Erica Wright links the two via their shared preoccupation with order and chaos. “…Poets and crime writers are working with the same raw materials—with confusion and uncertainty—but their approaches are different,” she explains. “Poets are trying to live with chaos, and crime writers are trying to fix it.” Wright adds that the two genres are also united by intensity – “Both genres invite high stakes…That’s one of the things that first attracted me to mysteries. If you start with a murder, with the volume turned to 10, where do you go from there?”

Melissa Ginsburg agrees, but takes a different approach as to why. “Both mystery stories and poetry deal with intense emotional states, and they both function by withholding certain information. Crime stories do this to create suspense, to generate curiosity in the reader. My favorite crime writing withholds answers to obvious questions—who did the crime, how, and why?—and in the process of parsing out that information or searching for it, ends up depicting a world and characters that are as compelling as those answers might be. I think poetry can work in a similar way. By subverting or eschewing obvious answers, the poem creates an experience that is emotional, intellectual, and visceral all at once.” Mysteries have always been tied to their ability to surprise (in my own mind, anyway) but the more I thought about Melissa’s words, the more I realized that many a poem comes with a twist end, shifting the perspective of the reader in much the same way as a crime novel might. 

Confusion, chaos, uncertainty – all are hallmarks of the condition of modernity, and of the modern form. I got academic with my next observation –  it seems to me that poetry and detective stories were some of the earliest 20th century forms to fall under the spell of modernism, stripping back 19th century excess in favor of a minimalist ideal containing within it modern themes.

Erika expands on my theory with the gracious added details of someone who teaches this stuff: “Poets created or embraced a range of artistic movements, including Imagism and Surrealism. And later in the twentieth century, they were quick to write about political topics, most notably the Vietnam War. Crime fiction can’t really help but be political to a certain extent. I tell my students that the universal lies in the specific to help them avoid abstractions, and I do my best to apply that same advice myself. I don’t want to get on a soapbox when telling a (hopefully) entertaining story, but it would be equally short-sighted to pretend violence isn’t linked to social issues.”

“I’m drawn to concision in writing. I’m interested in fragments and startling juxtapositions. Noir takes as a starting point the idea that the world is broken, probably irreparably, which is certainly a tenet of Modernism.” – Melissa Ginsburg

Melissa adds, “my own poems and fiction are influenced by Modernist aesthetics. I’m drawn to concision in writing. I’m interested in fragments and startling juxtapositions. Noir takes as a starting point the idea that the world is broken, probably irreparably, which is certainly a tenet of Modernism.”

As a not-very-prolific poetry reader, I felt ill-prepared (although quite enthused) for the task at hand. The main similarity I’d noticed between the two was in my own reaction to the same themes in different forms. Fractured, chaotic, brutal, broken…those terms oft-applied to modernity’s malaise turn into compliments when describing poetry and crime fiction. Most of the poetry I’ve read falls under the category of “poetry of witness,” which is another way of saying poetry that’s as depressing as s**t, and those of you who follow the blog know that my taste in crime fiction could be described as Hobbseian.

I’m convinced that fiction is the best way to obliquely approach trauma – to understand an emotional truth, and incorporate it into previously existing knowledge to layer empathy into fact for a startling combination of beauty and brutality. I asked Ginsburg and Wright (both of whom are known for the sensuous beauty and dark themes of their poetry) what it was about  the spare prose of a detective novel or the stark imagery of a poem that serves so well to describe the indescribable.

Erica Wright highlights the power of a story to create empathy. For years, she opened her Composition classes by teaching a 1978 poem by Carolyn Forche, “The Colonel,” in which “she writes about a military officer in El Salvador showing off his bag full of human ears. He drops them on the dinner table, and Forché describes them as looking like dried peach halves…no student ever missed my question about what looked like dried peach halves.” Facts may fade, but our experience of the suffering of others gleaned from books remains. She continues, “Imagery has this power over us in way that statistics don’t. Similarly, a mystery about, say, a man serving time for a crime he didn’t commit—I’m reading Julia Dahl’s excellent Conviction right now—stays with us. We might forget the number of people who’ve been wrongly behind bars, but a well-told story sticks.”

“Both mystery stories and poetry deal with intense emotional states, and they both function by withholding certain information. Crime stories do this to create suspense, to generate curiosity in the reader. My favorite crime writing withholds answers to obvious questions—who did the crime, how, and why?—and in the process of parsing out that information or searching for it, ends up depicting a world and characters that are as compelling as those answers might be.” – Melissa Ginsburg

Crime fiction and poetry may draw similar reactions or share themes, but when it comes to crafting the two forms, according to Erica Wright, “I rarely write poetry and fiction on the same day or even the same week. The muscles are too different. When writing a poem, there’s a lot of getting up to pace or make tea as I debate “dust” versus “ash.” With prose, I make myself write for a set period of time, trusting that anything awful can be fixed later.”

I asked Melissa and Erica which comes first, the idea or the form. While Erica may not write poetry and prose on the same day, she says “Typically, both a new poem and a new chapter will start with an image for me. Or a line gets stuck in my head, and I worry it around for awhile until it becomes something I can use. I don’t work with an outline until about halfway through a novel when I want to clarify the timeline.” With poetry, Melissa starts with “a piece of language that gets stuck in my head. If it has sufficient strangeness or a compelling rhythm, I’ll build on it. The ideas and the form are secondary to the poetic line. Sometimes I will have an idea first, but if I can’t hear a line, then I’ll abandon the idea; there’s nothing there for me. When I write formal poetry and it works, it’s because the form—a sonnet or pantoum or whatever– has forced me to think differently, in lines that feel alive rather than describe or depict something outside themselves.”

Her response brought to mind the similarly restrictive form of the detective novel, murder mystery, thriller, or any other subgenre of crime fiction. My favorite category of crime fiction are those works that acknowledge the form and then get as creative as possible within that restrictive form. In poetry and crime fiction, just like with cover songs, constraint can inspire creativity – it takes extra skill to craft something familiar that also surprises.

For her crime fiction, Ginsburg finds inspiration outside of form – “With a crime novel, it begins with characters and relationships.” With her debut mystery, Sunset City, Melissa says she “was originally interested in the dynamics between Charlotte and her ex-best friend, but the book started to take shape in my mind when I began to think about Charlotte and Sally, her friend’s mother. I liked that they were drawn together reluctantly, that the things they needed from each other did not match up evenly. There seemed a lot of drama and heartbreak in that situation and I thought I could build a plot and a world around it. The novel I’m working on now also centers around mothers and daughters and relationships that are both loyal and difficult.”

Whether beginning with form or relationships, crime fiction and poetry both lend themselves to exploring the action with the static, the danger under the surface, the tension ripping our connections apart, the endless need that brings us together, and the general instability that characterizes anything that appears solid, down to the whirling electrons that are our building blocks of chaos.

But enough about modernity. Let’s talk about tradition. While Erica’s crime fiction (so far) is set firmly in New York City, when it comes to poetry, she says, “I draw pretty heavily on the Southern Gothic tradition. Gregory Pardlo first recommended that I read Flannery O’Connor, and that suggestion changed my approach to writing. Her stories felt like permission to consider small-town subjects. While I don’t dwell exclusively in that realm, I’m pulled to the strangeness of rural life in the United States, the violence that lives alongside poverty. The supernatural feels more possible when you get beyond a city’s constant hum of electricity. We lost power a lot growing up, and I remember reading by candlelight, wondering if the scratching at a window was animal, tree, or other. There’s a lot of natural beauty, as well, of course. It’s not all ghosts, guns, and opossums.”

Melissa also has a touch of the Southern Gothic in her poetry. She’ll “write short lyrics about what I see around me, what I see out my studio window or on walks. My poems are full of rural Mississippi images because that’s where I live…I use images to talk about emotional states or create landscapes” but she doesn’t use poetry to “depict big cultural ideas.” Her books are more thematic – “the setting is broader, more a depiction of culture and values as well as images.”

Erica’s mention of natural beauty, and Melissa’s no-nonsense approach to the beauty of her environment, leave me feeling a bit abashed at my simplistic focus on the violence of fiction. If my questions seem a bit leading, and therefore a bit limiting, it’s because I don’t like to read happy stories, and because an acknowledgement of suffering unites the two forms in my own mind. For those who write both crime fiction and poetry, the two forms may complement each other rather than directly mirroring each other, and a rural setting has as much potential for joy as suffering. Saying that, I would definitely read an anthology titled “Ghosts, Guns, and Opossums.” As a city girl originally from the soul-sucking suburbs (looking at you, Round Rock!), I’ve enjoyed nature when comfortably caged, but only embrace the wild via cultural products. I tend to read tales of alienation, long highways, and closed-off neighbors, rarely venturing into the small town settings so many crime writers have made their own.

“While I don’t dwell exclusively in that realm, I’m pulled to the strangeness of rural life in the United States, the violence that lives alongside poverty. The supernatural feels more possible when you get beyond a city’s constant hum of electricity. We lost power a lot growing up, and I remember reading by candlelight, wondering if the scratching at a window was animal, tree, or other.” – Erica Wright

I finished up my interview asking a question for those readers like me, shy of poetry and looking for those works which might please a crime writer. Melissa recommends “Alice Notley’s book-length poetry projects The Descent of Alette and Culture of One. They  have a quality of obsessiveness and intensity, and they read like novels. Cynthia Cruz’s poems are dark and full of dread and may appeal to noir fans.”

Erica has quite a few recommendations. “Sometimes I dream about a job where I meet with a poetry skeptic for an hour, then make recommendations. There are so many wonderful contemporary poets. And mystery aficionados are already such prolific readers—it’s a short leap to them being as enamored as I am of folks like Sarah Messer, W. S. Merwin, Ada Limón. My former classmate Camille Rankine’s debut collection, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, is great. I just read and definitely recommend Erika L. Sánchez’s Lessons on Expulsion. I’m looking forward to Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s new collection coming out this fall.”

For poetry readers looking for the gateway drug to crime fiction, Wright recommends “Sara Gran…[as] a good starter drug. Marisha Pessl’s two novels are incredible. Oh, and there are also other poets who write mysteries like Chris Abani and Melissa Ginsburg.” Its nice that she mentions Melissa, because I started reading Wright’s work based on Ginsburg’s recommendation. She ends her answer with her own question, to which I hope this article will be a small part of the response: “How do we make all the poets and mystery writers become friends?” 

 You can find works by Melissa Ginsburg on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

You can find works by Erica Wright on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

Hard Boiled Poets: MysteryPeople Q&A with Ken Bruen, Peter Spiegelman and Reed Farrel Coleman

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Many may not see poetry in the hard boiled crime fiction genre created by the likes of Dashiell Hammett, James Cain, and Mickey Spillane. That said, many of today’s best writers in that field come of poetry. Both forms rely on style and word craft. With April being National Poetry Month, I contacted three of my favorite poet/novelists to explore the relationship between the two.

Reed Farrel Coleman’s two main series, featuring protagonists Moe Prager and Gus Murphy contain an emotional immediacy associated with poetry. He examines the facets of emotions in a crystal clear manner and his phrasing has a lyrical quality. “Meter is often overlooked, but the rhythm with which I write helps propel the reader forward. I don’t count out iambs, but I can hear the rhythm of my words in my head.”

Peter Spiegelman’s life as a poet appears to have always put him on the hunt for the perfect word. His writing is sharp with paragraphs that have the perfect conciseness of a poem’s stanza. When asked how poetry influenced his prose writing, he answered. “My interest in the sound of the sentences I write—how they strike the ear when they’re read aloud, their rhythms and cadences—certainly has its roots in writing poetry. So to my concern with language that is concise and that operates on several levels simultaneously—that carries plot forward even as it works to establish and enrich setting and character, and to define the “emotional weather” of the story.”

This can be seen in his series with Wall Street private investigator John March and his latest creation, Skid Row doctor and practitioner of expensive “house calls” to the rich and infamous, Dr. Knox.

It’s easy to see the poet in Ken Bruen’s work. His tight novels, the most famous featuring self destructive P.I. Jack Taylor. Ken plays with word placement, with half of a sentence dropping down to the next line. His creative phrasing creates a rat-a-tat-tat style that starts out pummeling, growing into a unique lyricism linking character and reader together for a fast trip down through Hell. ” Poetry taught me the art of brevity and never, never waste a word.”

I asked each author about the shared aspects of crime fiction and poetry. The commonality Reed found was in it’s diversity. ” Poetry isn’t one thing in the same way that crime fiction isn’t a monolithic entity. Ken Bruen, Peter Spiegelman and I all started out as poets, but our poetry is as different as our prose.”

Ken’s belief fit perfectly with his style of writing. “Crime and poetry share the blessing of immediacy. If done properly, they can leave a sense of quiet awe.”

“The poetry I love best has a lot in common with my favorite crime fiction.” Peter Spiegelman shared. “Both create palpable emotional atmospheres—often in an admixture of their settings and narrative voices. Both also can pivot on the telling detail—a scrap of description or dialogue, an startling image—beautiful or unsettling or both—that casts new light on a character, an action, a relationship, a back story, or that redefines these entirely. And so often both are devious things: misleading, secretive, withholding—guarding their epiphanies until the end.”

Both Ken and Peter thought Baudelaire would have made a good crime fiction author. Ken even wrote a novel titled Dispatching Baudelaire. “He would have been a savage almost Ellroy type of writer.”

When it comes to crime fiction writers who could have made great poets, both Reed and Peter agreed on Chandler, with Peter also citing Ross MacDonald. Ken mentioned contemporary Daniel Woodrell “…a poet on almost every single page of his work.”

When listing contemporaries, Peter Spiegelman brought it full circle like a craftsman poet. “Daniel Woodrell, Megan Abbott, and Reed Farrel Coleman.”

You can find works by Reed Farrel Coleman on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. 

You can find works by Ken Bruen on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

You can find works by Peter Spiegelman on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

Noir at the Bar Tonight!

Noir-at-the-Bar-Web-Graphic

Our last Noir At The Bar of 2014 (happening tonight, November 24, at 7pm at Opal Divine’s) has us going out with top talent. The line up is composed of first offenders and hardened felons. We’ve got both rural and southwestern noir authors and a guy who mashes up so many genres that we don’t know what the hell to call him. And of course, we’ll be joined by our own Jesse Sublett

C..B. McKenzie is the recent winner of the Tony Hillerman award for Bad Country. The book introduces us to cowboy-turned-private eye Rodeo Grace Garnett. McKenzie gives a rough and tumble feel to an unromanticized American west.

Glenn Gray’s The Little Boy Inside And Other Stories has been getting great buzz. The tales, which range from crime (especially involving illegal steroid use) to sci fi to body horror, are almost always funny and disturbing. Don’t eat while Glenn reads.

Matthew McBride instantly became a MysteryPeople favorite with his gonzo hard boiled debut Frank Sinatra In A Blender. He has received more rave reviews for his intense rural crime novel A Swollen Red Sun. The book deals with the repercussions of corruption in a Missouri county overrun by meth and violence.

Austin author and musician Jesse Sublett will perform some of his murder ballads, as well as reading (his latest is Grave Digger Blues) and everyone will be on hand to sign books afterwards. Before you’re put upon by holiday cheer, join us at Opal’s and celebrate the noir side of life.

MysteryPeople Interview; Reed Farrel Coleman

In Blindspot, Reed Farrel Coleman takes over Robert B. Parker’s
alcoholic small town police chief Jesse Stone. He puts Stone in the
middle of a case involving the mob, revenge, and some folks from in
days as a Minor League baseball player. Reed answered some questions
through e-mail we had about the book and his approach to this
established character.

MP: I’m sure there are challenges about taking on an established
character, but what’s fun about it?

RFC: The fun is the challenge of respecting the characters and the history
of the series while carving out a piece of it for yourself. It is both
yours and not yours and that is unique.

MP: Was there an aspect about Stone that gave you an “in” to approach him?

RFC: Indeed. It was his unresolved regret over the injury that ruined his
baseball career. Dealing with unresolved regret is something we all
can relate to and gave me my in to Jesse’s spirit.

MP: I heard that Parker wrote Jesse Stone to push himself into
different territory with third person omniscient. It has also showed
off other aspects of your writing we haven’t seen often. What muscle
did you enjoy exercising the most?

RFC: I am known for my intimate first person, which is in some ways the
polar opposite to how Mr. Parker wrote Jesse. The thing I enjoyed was
trying to bring an intimacy to Jesse, but not by being as intimate as
I am used to being with my own characters. Moe Prager, for example,
wore his heart on his sleeve. Jesse barely wears his sleeve on his
sleeve. So I had to learn to reveal Jesse through his actions. It’s
made me a better writer. At least I hope it has.

MP: One thing you get to do is cover the criminals point of view. Did
you notice anything different in writing for the bad guys?

RFC: Well that is one great advantage of third person omniscient with
multiple points of view. You can, if you so choose, get into the bad
guys’ heads. But the great pleasure for me in the book was getting
into all the bad guys’ heads, not just one. I think readers will be
surprised to see how not all bad guys are the same. How even the most
cold-blooded killer can change, even grow. I believe that subplot is
my favorite piece of BLIND SPOT. Jesse is such a great character:
complex, brave, stubborn. He is a study in strengths and foibles. But
it is writing the bad guys that was the most fun.

MP: You use a reunion of Jesse’s minor league baseball team as a
starting point. What drew you to that part of his past?

RFC: See my answer to your first question. It’s his biggest vulnerability.

MP: It seems that we get to see more of your humorous side than we
normally get to. Do you think there’s something about Stone or the
series that lends itself to that?

RFC: Absolutely. Jesse is actually quite funny in a kind of wry, quietly
sarcastic way. And I like that he can see his own follies as well as
others. I believe you will only laugh along with others who laugh at
themselves.

MP: Can you tell us about your original series your launching in the spring?

RFC: The novel is titled WHERE IT HURTS and it features retired Suffolk
County (New York) cop Gus Murphy. Gus is a guy who thinks he
understands the ways of the world, but when tragedy strikes his family
he realizes he understands nothing. It is the story of Gus healing
himself as he solves the murder of a petty criminal.

 

You can find Blindspot on our shelves now and via bookpeople.com.

MysteryPeople Review: THE DROP by Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane‘s The Drop had an interesting journey to becoming a published novel. It was originally a manuscript he shelved years ago, then later used a piece of for his acclaimed short story “Animal Control” that first appeared in Boston Noir. He later adapted the story into a film featuring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini that will be released on September 12th. When asked if he’d be interested to do a tie-in novel, he took elements from the the manuscript that started it all. The result is a tight, emotional ride that will please old fans  and find new ones.

The main character is Bob Saginoswki, a man life and circumstances have left behind. He works as a bartender for Cousin Marve, a one-time small-time gangster, whose bar is now owned by the Chechen mob as a temporary hiding place for their ill gotten gains, A drop bar. Living alone, with only visits to a local church, he has little outside Marve and the bar.

Two events upend this solitary, quiet existence. One is the discovery of an abused and abandoned pup in the trash outside the apartment of Nadia, a woman who has seen her share of damage. The two develop a tentative relationship after she helps him with the dog after he adopts it. Then Cousin Marve is robbed. The Chechens want their money from Bob and Marve or else. Both story lines entwine when the psychotic owner of the dog comes back to claim the animal.

This is a compact book with a lot packed in it. Everything locks into place perfectly. The story is well-paced as it builds to a wonderful, hard-boiled climax. Lehane introduces  information, then holds back, revealing it’s importance at just the right time. With Bob, he gives us a lead we feel deeply for, hinting at something dark underneath. He’s Paddy Cayefsky’s Marty with a slow burn fuse. You don’t only root for him to get out alive, but still have his heart intact.

The Drop is everything a Dennis Lehane lover wants, especially fans of Mystic River and his Kenzie-Gennaro series. He mainlines human emotion from tough people in a hard world with little compromise and still give a slam-bang read. Now we wait for the Broadway musical version.

Mystery People Review: BRAINQUAKE, by Samuel Fuller

brainquake

Review by Scott

Writer-director Samuel Fuller was a filmmaker from the fifties and sixties whose work still seems fresh, modern, and bold. His grab-you-by-the-throat intensity of style influenced the likes of Goddard, Scorsese, and Tarantino. What some may not know is that he wrote novels from the 1930s up until the the time of his death in 1997. Hard Case Crime gives us a look into this side of his talent by bringing us Brainquake, a Fuller novel that has just been published in the US and in English for the first time.

Fuller’s belief, “If the first scene doesn’t give you a hard-on then throw the goddamn thing away,” is applied to the first line of the novel: “Sixty seconds before the baby shot its father, leaves fell lazily in Central Park.” The murdered father is a mobster. Before the baby and mother are killed, Paul Pope, underworld bagman, saves them. Paul suffers from mental seizures which he refers to as “brainquakes,” where his mind spins into pink tinted images accompanied by piercing flute music. It is easy to picture Fuller’s avant garde camera cut loose during these passages. Paul falls for the mob widow, who he refers to as “ivory face”, setting up a series of events that ripple through the New York crime syndicate that employs him. The mob puts Father Flannigan, a contract killer who dresses like a priest and crucifies his targets, on to Paul as Flannigan’s next target.

Brainquake has the feel of a Sam Fuller film. The detailed life of a bagman is reminiscent of the attention brought to the lifestyle of the pickpocket Richard Widmark played in Pick Up On South Street. It portrays New York City with gritty realism mixed with pulp stylization. The dialogue blasts out  like gunshots and his tabloid inspired prose has the punchy feel of his editing. The emotions are raw and heightened. Everything is heightened, yet retains the truth in its main characters.

Brainquake is full on Fuller. Those who have seen his interviews can hear his boisterous cigar stained voice in the writing. It is uncompromising, wild, tough, and goes right at you, giving a fresh perspective on a great, often under appreciated artist, while delivering a slam-bang read.


Copies of Brainquake are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.

Guest Post: Kira Piekoff On Her Latest, NO TIME TO DIE

no time to die

Guest Post by Kira Peikoff

In my new book No Time to Die, Zoe Kincaid, a 20-year-old college dropout, has long endured a mystifying ailment that has stunted her development. The truth will shock her: she’s biologically stopped aging, and her DNA may hold the key to unlocking a secret sought since the dawn of time: why do we age and die? But with some powerful people willing to kill, soon Zoe finds herself at the center of a dangerous manhunt with epic consequences.

I created the character of Zoe after learning about the real-life case of Brooke Greenberg, an adolescent girl who had inexplicably stopped aging as a toddler. Today, six other similar girls have been identified, and they are all participating in a cutting-edge research study that aims to examine their DNA for shared mutations. The hope is that scientists will discover a gene (or group of genes) at the root of the aging process, which could then be turned on or off. Imagine being able to stop aging whenever you wanted; would you do it? I think I know your answer, but think again. What would it really be like to be forever young? Read No Time to Die to find out…

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Copies of No Time to Die are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.