Gumshoe Reflections in a Private Eye: Reflections in a Private Eye

Josiah Thompson, Author Little Brown and Company $17.45 (312p) ISBN 978-0-316-84175-7
Why would a philosophy professor at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, married with two dependent children, give up a tenured post paying an estimated $75 an hour to become a San Francisco private eyeapprentice op, in the lingoat $10 an hour? Perhaps for the ``voyeur's rush'' he feels on surveillance jobs? Readers, for their part, will experience little of that high as Thompson relates the ``hugger-mugger stuff'' (his wife's phrase) of his work during 1978-88: a palimony suit involving a gay podiatrist, murder in Chinatown, domestic-estrangement capers, a trip to India on a child-custody case. With nods to Kierkegaard's ``despair of finitude'' and to the ``detectivery and shadowy'' ideal of ``St. Dashiell'' (Hammett), he shows us a philosopher ``dicking around as a detective'' and becoming so pleased with himself that he makes his new career permanent. Readers can only wonder at his misreading of Soren and Dash. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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