Up in Honey's Room

Up in Honey's Room

Book - 2007
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A novel about searching for a German spy in Detroit during World War II.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2007
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780060724245
0060724242
Branch Call Number: FIC Leona 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 292 p

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j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

“So there are good ways to die,” Walter said, “and far less desirable ways. Die as a hero or suffocate in a hospital bed.”
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... my dad told me what it was like over there. He was gassed on the Western Front when it wasn’t all quiet... Walter said, “Did you know another twenty million died the year following the war?” “From the Spanish flu,” Honey said.
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He climbed on top, and it was like a one-minute blitzkrieg start to finish.
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He’s listening to the news, the German Army going through Poland like rhubarb through a tall woman. France is next and England’s getting ready.
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He said American food, all it did was give him gas. I had to learn to cook German, big heavy dinners, sauerbraten with red cabbage, bratwurst. For the first time in my life I had to watch my weight. Walter didn’t gain at all. He still passed gas, only now it was okay, it was German gas.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

... the guy comes home, walks into the kitchen with a sheep in his arms. His wife turns from the sink and he says, ‘This is the pig I’ve been sleeping with when I’m not with you.’ His wife says, ‘You dummy, that’s not a pig, it’s a sheep.’ And the guy says, ‘I wasn’t speaking to you.’”
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“Who’s Count Basil?” “He meant Count Basie. Joe doesn’t know the ‘One O’Clock Jump’ from ‘Turkey in the Straw.’”
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“Well, he hasn’t called. What’s he doing up here, working in a plant?” “How would I know,” Muriel said, “I’m only his wife.”
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Honey with a twinge of guilt standing by the casket, the daughter who’d left home for the big city to live her own life, meet all kinds of people instead of coal miners and guys who cooked moonshine.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

We’re Christians, the Jews are a cross we must bear. They’re pushy, insolent, think they’re smart, they double-park in front of their delicatessens on Twelfth Street—also on Linwood—and what do we do? Nothing. We make fun of them. Someone says, But they do make the movies we go to see.
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The Battle of the Bulge was Germany’s last full-out assault. They pushed off the sixteenth of December with a thousand tanks and by the twentieth of January they had a hundred thousand casualties and lost eight hundred of the tanks. We lost a lot of good soldiers, but we pushed the Krauts back to where they’d started, pretty much done. It was their last assault but, boy, it cost us.
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It was a morning in late October 1944, America at war nearly three years. In the Philippines again since yesterday.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

To Have and Have Not on a sixteen-millimeter projector. It’s the picture Lauren says to Humphrey Bogart, ‘You know how to whistle, Steve?’ If he wants her for anything. ‘You put your lips together and blow.’
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How the United States produced 25 million pounds of meat a year, the armed forces and their allies, England and Russia, getting eight million pounds of it, leaving 17 million pounds for the 121 million meat eaters in America, and it amounted to two and a half pounds a week for each meat eater, counting a child and a person who was ill as half a meat eater. ... The government won’t reveal that German U-boats caused the meat shortage, it’s a military secret. It becomes a mystery to the meat eaters. They cry and complain ‘Why is there no meat for us? Why are we giving our meat to the Russians?’”

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

“This is what you do, you fence stolen goods?” “I find art collectors who look at my catalog and get a hard-on. I sell paintings that hung in the Louvre to people living in New York and Palm Beach, at a discount. I still make a pile of money and the collectors give me a big hug.”
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“The Caucasian Chalk Circle.” Otto said, “Der kaukasische Kreidekreis,” mumbling the words. “What is it about?” “I have no idea. It’s sort of based on a Chinese play five or six hundred years old, The Chalk Circle.”
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“Fritz Lang’s Hangmen Also Die with Brian Donlevy. It’s about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s alter ego.
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“The Prisoner, by Ernst Lothar.” She turned the book over to read from the back cover, “‘From the Normandy beachhead to an American prison camp in Colorado, the story of the unmaking of a Nazi.’

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

Josef Stalin, that pockmarked midget. Do you know how tall he is? The Russians say five foot six. Oh, really? He wears lifts in his shoes or he’d be no taller than a five-foot pile of horseshit. It’s the reason he’s killed ten million of his own people. His mother sent him to a seminary to become a priest, but God rejected him.
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Those old guys and their six-inch blades they kept sharpenin’, they could take the coat off a cow, Jesus, like it was buttoned on.
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“So you don’t care you’re breaking the law.” Darcy looked surprised. “It’s what I do. How I make my livin’. I round up cows in the dark of night. It don’t have nothin’ to do with the government, my gettin’ back at ’em for puttin’ me in jail. Man, I’m an outlaw..."
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“I walk in a bar, they hear my spurs jingle jangle jingle they know who I am.” Darcy grinned, three or four days’ growth on his face. “My boots are about worn through, but I never once had these can openers off ’em.”

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

Honey being what you’d call a free spirit, with bedroom eyes and that lower lip waiting there for him to bite, the girl acting like there was nothing wrong with free love.
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Social Justice, written by a priest she’d heard on the radio, Father Charles Coughlin, with a voice like syrup, but talked about a conspiracy of Jews being international bankers or atheistic Communists, either way out to get us.
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I see a story about Henry Ford and learn he’s critical of Jews. He warns of the international Jewish conspiracy, which I take to mean communism, what else. We know he’s opinionated. Henry Ford believes sugar on grapefruit causes arthritis. But in his factory he’s a genius. Why is he so against Jews, as a race? I think he resents Jews because they tend to be smart.
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It’s the look Joan Fontaine gives Cary Grant in Suspicion when she realizes he loves her.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

“You know the word hoosgow?” “It’s the jail in a Gene Autry movie.” “Yes, what cowboys call it, from the Spanish word juzgado, meaning a court of law. You know hoosgow, uh?”
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“Did you ever read Mein Kampf?” “I’ve never felt it necessary.”
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“I love it when you’re a prude. You can’t say the word but go wild doing it.”
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Carl paused to let Honey wait for what he’d say next, but she beat him to it.
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I tell them my husband’s shot more people who wanted to kill him than any of you, without even leaving Oklahoma.
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Henry Ford was a pacifist while America was neutral,” Vera said. “He refused to build aircraft engines for England. Two years later he’s producing an entire four-engine bomber, a Liberator, every hour of the working day. It’s what they’re doing at Willow Run, putting together more than one hundred thousand different parts to make a bomber. To make a Ford sedan took only fifteen thousand parts.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

Heini has said people may hate us, but we don’t ask for their love, only that they fear us. He tells his SS, we must discuss the plan for extermination, but never speak of it in public. He said they can look at a thousand corpses in one place, mounds of dead bodies the result of their work, and know they remain good fellows. Heini is responsible for the murder of Jews, Romas, priests, homosexuals, Communists, ordinary people, in numbers estimated to exceed, easily, ten million.”
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Vera had to pause and think before telling them the indictment against the thirty defendants last year for sedition ended with prison terms. We are told we have a right to free speech, but when we stand up for the truth, say that Communists control the American government, that Franklin Roosevelt, the cripple, gets down to kiss the ass of the midget Josef Stalin, we are imprisoned.

j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

This lovely boy from Odessa who killed with ease having seen hundreds and hundreds of people gassed, shot against walls, shot with pistols against their heads, hung from streetlights, locked in rooms and burned alive, all of it a part of Bo’s coming-of-age.
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Detroit River, a popular grave for hundreds of souls during Prohibition, bootleggers bringing whiskey across from Canada, getting waylaid by the murderous Purple Gang if the police didn’t stop them. It was a rough town, used to violence. Two years ago, 1943, a Negro sailor was thrown in the river from the Belle Isle bridge and it started a race riot that went on for days, property destroyed, cars turned over, troops called in…

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j
jimg2000
Aug 18, 2017

Read this most unusual thriller long ago by the Detroit Poet Elmore Leonard. Fast read it again in light of last weekends Charlottesville rallies by the KKK, Nazis, and white supremacist. Anyway, not in a million years I could have come up with the scenario "up in Honey's room" in mid-April 1945. With online resources, surprised how often Elmore was able to weave in factual people and incidences in the era, e.g. the infamous Mata Hari, Detroit restaurateur and Nazi-sympathizer Max Stephan, Fritz Julius Kuhn Bund rallies, Detroit factories retooled to make war machines ("They called this city the Arsenal of Democracy."), German POW camps, 1943 race riot, black markets in meat and nylons etc. Interesting read with the usual bunch of eclectic characters and twists. One of the prominent character was marshal Carl Webster from "The Hot Kid 2005" but he was just a side kick for Honig or Honey, "a free spirit who knows how to think."

p
PearlyBaker
Aug 02, 2016

The Red Headed Stranger wrote, "I guess Nashville was the roughest, but I know I've said the same about them all." That is exactly how I felt reading this piece. I know I have said it before but this is my favorite Elmore Leonard novel. Not only is there pure country lingo, but there is 1940's and Nazi slang to boot. Ever since I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich I have been fascinated with all the fascist homoerotic outfits, domination and terminology like Obergruppenfuhrer. It's especially interesting today in American politics since everyone claims the other will turn our nation into a post Orwellian, proto fascist nightmare. Like I said in 2001, this Republic has been through a hell of a lot worse.

a
achanson
Aug 14, 2012

eh.

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