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Bookwaves – March 21, 2019: Brian Garfield (1939-2018)

Brian Garfield, who died on December 29, 2018, one month shy of his eightieth birthday, wrote at least sixty-five novels, most of them westerns, three collections of short stories, three books of non-fiction and several works for film and television. Though writing mostly in the western genre, he is best known for the revenge novel Death Wish, which became a hit movie starring Charles Bronson in 1974, along with Hopscotch, which became a successful film with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson in 1980. His 1982 Western Films: A Complete Guide is still the definitive work on the subject.

In 1983,Richard Wolinsky, along with Richard A. Lupoff and Lawrence Davidson sat down with Brian Garfield to talk about his career. An extremely prolific writer at the time of the interview, and only in his early 40s, Brian Garfield’s output declined precipitously afterward, with only two novels and one non-fiction book published over the final 35 years of his life.

Brian Garfield’s best novel, Wild Times, is currently out of print, though a kindle edition is available for a low price. The mini-series of Wild Times and the musical Legs never came out on DVD and are unavailable for streaming, The original Death Wish and its sequels can be rented on Amazon and Hopscotch is available free on Kanopy through your public library. A remake of Death Wish came out in theaters in 2018, starring Bruce Willis, and promptly flopped. It is currently streaming on Epix.

This podcast was digitized and re-edited in 2019 by Richard Wolinsky. The podcast is dedicated to the memory of Patricia Lupoff, who was also present at the interview.

An extended 58-minute version of this interview can be found as a Radio Wolinsky podcast.

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