Sunday, January 1, 2017
The Projectionist, by Joe R. Lansdale
A warning: this is not a collection of crime stories, per se. The connecting thread is that they are all inspired by paintings of Edward Hopper. No doubt that this story is about crime, though.
The narrator is a projectionist at a movie theatre. He's naive and not that bright - one character calls him a "retard" but that's not fair. The job is okay, and then Sally arrives. Sally is an usherette, and beautiful.
Sounds like we are building up to a classic noir plot, but that's not quite the way it happens. Instead the theatre gets a visit from The Community Protection Board, a bunch of shakedown artists who threaten the theatre and Sally.
But they underestimate our hero. He's seen some bad times and knows some bad people. And soon the Protection Board may need protection...
I must say that of all the stories this one felt most to me like a Hopper painting.