Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tomorrow's Another Day (W.R. Burnett, 1946)

Once upon a time (after WW2), in a land far away (Lake City, Minnesota) there was this guy Lonnie Drew. He was a good lad, but cruel life and war had forced him to become a gambler. In a unusual turn of events (game of poker) he had acquired his castle (restaurant) from which he now rules over the land together with his faithful courtiers (Ray Cooper, Pinky the chef, Willy the driver). Lonnie meets princess (model) Marry, they quickly fall in love and marry. End of book one (70! pages).

Book two. Evil forces (Gus Borgia, ex mafioso kind of guy) arrive on the scene from another distant land (Chicago) and join forces with the local subversive character Jack Pool aka The Greek. You see, poor Jack is also in love with our princess and he's pissed off at Lonnie for stealing her away from him. So he comes up with a plan how to throw our hero from his throne. Plot starts to thicken (about fucking time!) and finally we get first violent act. It's just a robbery, but still during it our hero's friend gets so scared he actually faints!? And with that our illusions and hopes for hard boil-ish novel also die.

Book three. Our prince charming manages to save the day! He out-smarts bad guys, gets the money and keeps his bride. And they do live happily ever after!

And once again I was pissed off at myself for buying a book based on its cool cover (yes, I know...) and inner notes which stated that its author also wrote High Sierra and Asphalt Jungle. Can still remember how disappointing The Wounded and the Slain was but I guess I thought that I simply couldn't be that unlucky twice in a row. And besides that, Asphalt Jungle is of course in a league of its own when compared to Dark Passage.

And that's it basically. Except maybe that this one is a first corpse-less entry of this blog so it does have some sort of honor. In all fairness it needs to be said that Gus is such a bad ass and so pissed off at Greek that somehow I don't think poor jealous bastard would make it to a potential sequel. I'll never know for sure because even in case there's a sequel to this melodrama crap, I'm not touching it. No matter how cool a cover is...



Lonnie Drew, (ex?) gambler

Lake City, Minnesota

Body count: 0

Maureen O'Donnell aka Mary Donnell (This dame was too good looking!)

"Good God!" cried Ray, deathly pale, and fainted and fell sideways before Lonnie could catch him.

Don't get it. Of course tomorrow will be another day.

Good, old school illustration of a shady guy with a gun and a horse race in the background. Not credited.

Cool lines:None.


  1. I understand your frustration at the lack of hardboiled action in this novel, especially with it's (later printing) cover, but in my opinion Burnett was quite talented at these lightweight noirs, and I found it pretty enjoyable. He seemed to go back and forth from gritty stuff like Little Caesar and Asphalt Jungle to corpse-less tales of professional gamblers like this and Dark Hazard - which would really irk you as what looks to be a two-fisted tale of gambling and rackets is essentially a love story between a man and his adopted racing dog ... still, I found it a pleasant read. At least Burnett could write - a lot of novels with great hardboiled covers may feature some murder within but not much writing worthy of being read.

  2. Wow, first ever comment on this blog! And very good and valid one indeed! One of the main reasons why I started writing it in the first place was to get some feedback and recommendations from other readers.

    Thanks a lot for taking your time!

  3. In case you're interested, Burnett adapted this novel as an episode of "77 Sunset Strip" entitled "Thanks for Tomorrow", with Adam West as Lonnie, and Mary Tyler Moore as his wife Marie