I tried reading a mystery/detective/thriller novel by Larry Beinhart. He wrote the novel American Hero that the movie Wag the Dog was based on and he's written another one called Salvation Island that has also become a movie recently (including Jim Gaffigan in the cast, which made me pay attention because I was surprised to see him in a movie). I seem to remember liking Wag the Dog and Salvation Island looked like it might be funny, in a dark comedy kind of way, so I got some of Larry's books at the library.
Unfortunately, I didn't really care for them. This reminds me of my Elmore Leonard problem: I really want to like his stuff because I like one movie A LOT (and prefer it to the book it was based on), one movie is okay (again, movie better than book), a lot of the short stories are good and one book was enjoyable (not made into a movie...yet). Unfortunately, I don't like almost all the other books, and most of the other movies and I wish I did.
The happy unintended consequence of this is that when I went to the library to pick up the Beinhart books, I found The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. While the clerk was in back getting my books on reserve, I scanned the books to be reshelved, as I am wont to do, and this one caught my eye. The name seemed familiar, maybe from the New York Times book review, so I took it. I'm 40 pages in and it's compelling and funny in a melancholy way, so I'm going to take the rest of the afternoon to work on it. More later on how it goes.
p.s. Frustrated again at the superficiality and/or excess emoting to strangers on Facebook and Twitter, I am again tryiing for a break from both. Comment here or email me if we need to be in contact.