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September 18, 2008


Cameron Hughes

Oh no. This is so sad. I'm numb.


I discovered James Crumley the summer of 2008 and read The Last Good Kiss. His book was timeless. It was a treasure for me. His writing ranks with John D. MacDonald and James Lee Burke.

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Crumley, who was born in Three Rivers, Texas, grew up in south Texas, where his father was an oil-field supervisor and his mother was a waitress. According to Crumley, his father was a gentle man, but his mother was a forceful and violent woman. She insisted that Crumley attend church, but did not do so herself because she could not afford clothes decent enough for church.

Crumley was a grade-A student and a football player, an offensive lineman, in high school. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology on a Navy ROTC scholarship, but left to serve in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1961 in the Philippines. He then attended the Texas College of Arts and Industries on a football scholarship, where he received his B.A. degree with a major in history in 1964. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at the University of Iowa in 1966. His master's thesis was later published as the Vietnam War novel One to Count Cadence in 1969.


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David J. Montgomery is a writer and critic specializing in books and publishing. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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