The Dangerous Dwarf
November 21, 2008 12:25 AM   Subscribe

Mongo the Magnificent. "Out of nowhere, believing that it is good for the soul to have one insane idea a day, whether you need it or not, the notion of a dwarf private detective came to me [...] I considered such a character bizarre and absurd, unworkable and unpublishable, and thus a waste of time to spend and length of time trying to develop it. I kept searching, but the damn dwarf just wouldn't go away. [...] It was to be a satire. Halfway through, I discovered a key to the man's character was a simple quest to be taken seriously, for dignity. That touched me, and I started over again, this time doing it "straight" (or as straight as I'm able). I gave Mongo dignity, and in return he gave me a career. The diverse background was, I thought, necessary in order to properly equip him in a "world of giants"."

George C. Chesbro, RIP

I'm not a great fan of mysteries (though I've read all of Holmes and most of Agatha Christie at various points), but I picked up one of Chesbro's books one day many years ago and it grew on me as I read it, they're subtle but strange and sweet (even though he puts that poor dwarf through the most horrific experiences, electrical tortures, sensory deprivation tanks, rabies and cholera).

I randomly found his site tonight and saw that he died a few days ago... but also found out that he was a success with self-publishing, and that he continued Mongo on into stranger worlds in new books I haven't read yet.
posted by lupus_yonderboy (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
(And I know that this has been seen here before and is only tenuously related but I still want to gratuituously direct you to this incredibly entertaining story, A Study In Emerald, which I ran into again while preparing this.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:28 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've already had two insane ideas today. Ah... tomorrow I can take a vacation.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:32 AM on November 21, 2008

Well, if you can judge a book by its cover, then Shadow of a Broken Man is a great book. On the other hand, The Beasts of Valhalla is a piece of hack crap.

...he was a success with self-publishing...

That's inspiring and good to hear.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:00 AM on November 21, 2008

Mongo the Magnificent

Wasn't he in There's Something About Mary?
posted by gman at 4:20 AM on November 21, 2008

I had no idea -- looks fascinating. Thanks, Lupus.
posted by BT at 4:29 AM on November 21, 2008

Loved the Mongo books; Chesbro was one of many influences on my own mystery writing. I didn't know the self-publishing angle, I'll have to check that out, as I publish my own, too.

Rest in peace.
posted by willmize at 4:43 AM on November 21, 2008

I'd forgotten about those. Thanks for the reminder---and I'm sorry to hear Chesbro died.
posted by leahwrenn at 4:56 AM on November 21, 2008

I'm a huge Mongo fan and I had no idea that Chesbro had died. I'll have to go back and do some re-reading I suppose.

posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:06 AM on November 21, 2008

I believe the self-publishing was recent. It certainly made his books harder to find — I had no idea he was coming out with new Mongo stuff until I went looking for it. Same Mongo, could have used a little more editor. The Mongo stuff was often, though not always, mixed with something out of science fiction, a light touch of something paranormal, but you never knew until you were a ways into it, which added some extra fun to it.

Some of the older book covers were quite surreal and eye-catching. I recall that's what got me to pick one up in the first place.

If you liked Mongo, you'd love Bone, too. Even his novelization for The Golden Child was good. Most novelizations of movies hurt to read, but not his.
posted by adipocere at 5:06 AM on November 21, 2008

I read the novelization of The Golden Child many years ago and I remember to this day that it was quite good. Thanks for the post.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:38 AM on November 21, 2008

Wasn't there talk of Peter Dinklage playing Mongo? What happened to that?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:37 AM on November 21, 2008

Seconding the recommendation of Bone. I thought that one was fascinating.
posted by maurice at 8:48 AM on November 21, 2008

I'm always up for a new mystery series. Which book should I start with?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 AM on November 21, 2008

Wasn't there talk of Peter Dinklage playing Mongo? What happened to that?

I think there's a script lodged firmly in development purgatory. From what I've heard it's pretty awful.
posted by dersins at 9:24 AM on November 21, 2008

Oh, and

posted by dersins at 9:25 AM on November 21, 2008


I enjoyed his books very much.

Corpse in the library, the bookslut link recommends starting with Shadow of a Broken Man.
posted by mogget at 9:38 AM on November 21, 2008

posted by motdiem2 at 12:25 PM on November 21, 2008

My name is Mongo.
posted by humannaire at 8:40 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

« Older Depression 2009   |   Flash Friday: Auditorium Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments