The Deadly Percheron

The Deadly Percheron

by John Franklin Bardin

The opening chapter defies description.

So begins John Franklin Bardins unconventional crime thriller in which a psychiatrist's attempts to help his patient lead to a dead-end world of amnesia and social outcasts.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Mystery
  • Rating: 3.73
  • Pages: 223
  • Publish Date: December 1st 2006 by Millipede Press
  • Isbn10: 1933618108
  • Isbn13: 9781933618104

What People Think about "The Deadly Percheron"

Jacob Blunt seems perfectly sane, but the scarlet hibiscus in his hair begs to differ. A leprechaun, not the three inch tall Irish variety, but the American 3 foot tall variety, pays him to wear a different flower in his hair every day. Dr. George Matthews is suitably intrigued by the story and breaks numerous personal rules for himself by agreeing to go meet Eustace the Leprechaun. When the Leprechaun instructs Jacob Blunt to deliver a Percheron horse to Francis Raye, an actress, as a gift, Matthews suggests that Blunt get clear of the whole mess, but Blunt is an earnest, young man who insists on fulfilling his obligations. The redhead glanced up at us as we came into the room, her eyes intense green blurs in her beautiful, blank face. While George Matthews is waiting for a train to go home, he feels a sharp blow to his back and wakes up in an insane asylum with everyone referring to him as John Brown. Or in my mind, crimes make scars. John Franklin Bardin wrote several books, but there was a productive period starting in 1946 with The Deadly Percheron reaching publication, followed by The Last of Philip Banter and Devil Take the Blue-Tailed Flyk where he had more like a tiger by the tail. The plot of this novel becomes more and more complex as Matthews researches his recent past, trying to reassemble the missing pieces caused by his amnesia. Im certainly looking forward to reading the other two novels from his most intriguing and successful writing period.

John Franklin Bardin wrote ten mystery novels, but it is for first threewritten in a remarkable burst of creativity in the years from 1944 to 1946that he will be best remembered. Jacob Blunt tells Dr. George Matthews that he has been hired by three little men (Joe, Harry, and Eustache) to perform certain odd tasks: wear specific flowers in his hair, whistle loudly at Carnegie Hall, and give away quarters on the street. (The lastperhaps not coincidentallywas Bardin's schizophrenic mother's abiding obsession.) If you like mysteriesparticular the ones which have the bizarre, hallucinatory qualities of a good 40's film noir, you should give The Deadly Percheron a try.

El escritor norteamericano John Franklin Bardin (1916-1981), es autor de una decena de novelas, la más famosa de la cuáles quizá sea El percherón mortal. Sin embargo, escritores como Guillermo Cabrera Infante, lo consideraban como uno de los autores más originales de novela policial, y lo equiparaba a Edgar Allan Poe y Dashiell Hammett.

He thinks he might be crazy.

The young man, named Jacob Blunt, tells the good doctor that he is going insane. He's sought Dr. Matthews out because Blunt isn't sure if the little men are real or not. To help Blunt, Dr. Matthews accompanies him to a bar one night to meet one of the little men. However, the man they produce as Jacob Blunt isn't the same man who came to see the psychiatrist. Matthews wakes up in a hospital to find his face disfigured and the staff calling him John Brown. The only way he's able to get out of the mental ward is by pretending to be the derelict John Brown and concocting a story the hospital staff will believe. After Matthews meets the "leprechaun"the second time, he begins to unravel the mystery of what happened to him in the intervening months between his blow to the head and waking up in the mental hospital.

One internet reviewer tells us the book is a "deadly serious excursion into identity formation and the psychology of guilt." How such a book was overlooked to begin with is the real mystery. * The first thing you realize as you begin to read--the book opens with a psychiatrist whose new patient claims to be working for leprechauns--is that you're drawn in by the mystery. Like George Matthews, the psychiatrist, you don't for a minute believe the leprechaun story, but you want to know what it means. And this is the key to the book's reevaluation: if the reader brings this perception to the work, then the whole thing becomes a psychological game, with reality in the balance.

As he approached thirty, he moved to New York City where during his adulthood he was an executive of an advertising agency, published ten novels and taught creative writing as well as advertising at the NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH.