Created by Ron Goulart
Ron Goulart's fiction transcends genre, being a general mish-mash of detective, fantasy, satire, straight sci-fi, parody and just plain silliness, reflecting his passion for the detective and science fiction pulps and comics of yesteryear. He's a serious scholar, and has published several key works of non-fiction on most of his interests. His fiction tends to also reflect those interests.
After Things Fall Apart is an early example of Goulart's style, and still one of his best books, sort of a giddy, helium-sucking state-of-the-union address. It revolves around JIM HALEY, a San Francisco gumshoe who works for The Private Inquiry Office, in the not-too-distant future, "after things fell apart." It's a world that features the Richard Nixon Institute (for balding rock stars), the Amateur Mafia (no Italians allowed), the Monterey Mechanical Jazz Festival and the Republic of Southern California. Goulart's sense of humour is an acquired taste, to be sure, but the Mystery Writers of America liked this one enough to bestow an Edgar upon it. Jim Haley is the P.I. hero of a rather irreverent book by Ron Goulart that dares to imagine a world "after things fall apart."
Goulart is responsible for a long string of sci-fi/P.I. hybrids, featuring such gumshoes as Jake and Hildy Pace, Ben Jolson, Max Kearney and even Jake Cardigan, supposedly written by William "T. J. Hambone" Shatner, as well as an excellent series featuring "straight"' P.I. John Easy. Goulart's latest "detective" series features the fictional, crime-busting exploits of Groucho Marx. And how he got that gum on his shoes we'll never know....
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