Wiprud, Brian M. 1961–
Wiprud, Brian M. 1961–
Born 1961, in Washington, DC. Education: New York University, B.F.A., 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Fly fishing.
Home—Brooklyn, NY. E-mail—[email protected]
Photographer and writer. Weidlinger Associates Inc., New York, NY, utility specialist.
Lefty Award for Most Humorous Novel, 2002, for Pipsqueak; Barry Award for Best Paperback Original, 2007; Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original, 2007.
Sleep with the Fishes, Xlibris (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.
Pipsqueak, Dell (New York, NY), 2004.
Stuffed, Dell (New York, NY), 2005.
Crooked, Dell (New York, NY), 2006.
Tailed, Bantam Dell (New York, New York), 2007.
Contributor to books, including Concrete Jungle, Juno Books; These Guns for Hire, Bleak House. Contributor to periodicals, including Mercator's World, Tribeca Tri, American Angler, Fly Tyer, Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide, Fly Fishing Journal, Fly Fish America, Massachusetts Wildlife, A River Never Sleeps, Outdoor Canada, Rackelhanen Fly Fishing, and Fly Fisherman.
"Brian M. Wiprud is a name that is starting to get heavily noticed with his own unique story-telling style that merges the ‘Gonzo-Chase’ thriller with a heavy dose of offbeat and observational humour,’ wrote a contributor on the Shots: The Crime & Mystery Magazine Web site after the publication of Wiprud's second book, Pipsqueak. Wiprud's first book, Sleep with the Fishes, was called ‘a hilarious caper’ by a Books 'n' Bytes critic. A Publishers Weekly contributor called it ‘a laugh-out-loud triumph.’ In his debut, Wiprud tells the story of Sid ‘Sleep’ Bifulco, an ex-hit man for the Mafia who put his victims to sleep before killing them. When Sid is arrested by the police and faces a long prison term, he decides to testify against the ‘Family.’ During his stay in prison, Sid becomes enamored of fly fishing and, following his parole, plans to spend his retirement fishing on the Delaware river. However, Sid cannot escape his past, which soon catches up with him and threatens his idyllic days fishing for trout. ‘A subtle character-driven novel, it is filled with surreal observations, complex and very funny dialogue, as the story becomes a metaphor for much, much more,’ noted a Shots contributor. Mary Ann Smyth, writing on the BookLoons Web site, decided that the author's ‘writing should not be likened to any other writer,’ adding: ‘Other writers should be likened to him."
In Pipsqueak, Wiprud introduces the character of Garth Carson, a taxidermy collector and dealer. One day he comes across Pipsqueak the Nutty Nut, a squirrel puppet from an old local television program called The General Buster Show, which Garth watched as a child. When Garth tries to buy the puppet, however, he is told it is not for sale. Before he can leave the store, a man arrives and gets into an argument over the puppet while Garth is in the bathroom. When Garth comes out, the man is dead and the murderer and the puppet have disappeared. After this, Garth cannot get Pipsqueak out of his mind. As a result, he decides to track down the puppet with the help of an assortment of strange friends. Writing for Bookreporter.com, Joe Hartlaub remarked: ‘Pipsqueak … is a somewhat whacked-out tribute to these [local children's] shows and asks an important question: Where did all the puppets go?"
Garth is not long on the hunt for Pipsqueak when he starts receiving ominous threats from others who are also looking for the puppet. It seems that Pipsqueak actually is an important part of a nefarious plot for world domination involving a crooked lawyer and several double agents. ‘Wiprud has a tremendously vivid imagination and has created a book that is well written, fast paced and very enjoyable,’ commented Maddy Van Hertbruggen in ReviewingTheEvidence.com. Jon Jordan, writing in Books 'n' Bytes, similarly commented: ‘It is funny, it is fast paced and it has a great story."
BookLoons contributor Smyth called Wiprud's sequel to Pipsqueak, titled Stuffed, a ‘pure delight, interspersed with chilling moments of such outrageous doings that one must keep reading to see what happens next.’ Garth runs his taxidermy business with his significant other, Angie, who sells her jewelry from the same store. When he gets a stuffed crow in a bell jar for Angie's birthday, Garth and Angie are robbed at the store. The thieves take the white crow and other stuffed animals and horns from Garth's inventory. As Garth and Angie, along with their Russian handyman, Otto, try to track down the stolen goods, they soon discover that the world of taxidermy has a very dark side. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the author's ‘imagination runs wild here, and he skillfully brings the reader along as the plot moves … into left field.’ Harriet Klausner commented in Books 'n' Bytes that the author ‘provides a terrific thriller STUFFED with the zanies."
"What a delight of a book,’ wrote BookLoons contributor Smyth of Wiprud's Crooked. ‘I knew when I started the first page I would be in for a good read.’ In this novel, Garth is left behind as Wiprud features Garth's brother, Nicholas Palihnic. Nicholas is a shady character hired by an insurance company to track down a missing painting titled ‘Trampoline Nude, 1972.’ Along the way, Nicholas encounters a wide assortment of characters, including his old friend Nicasiai Grieg, and her lover Barney, a thief hiding out in Hoboken though Nicasiai thinks he is dead. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that the author's ‘engaging, hard-boiled style draws readers into both the art world and the underworld of New York.’ Ali Karim, writing for Books 'n' Bytes, observed: ‘The writing style is more confident and hip than in Wiprud's previous work showing maturity and therefore not requiring as much broad farce to propel the plot forward."
In Wiprud's fifth crime novel, Tailed, Garth returns and is working for an insurance company as an examiner of taxidermy specimens to establish their insurable value. When he goes to a football player's home to examine a specimen, he finds the player murdered; apparently, a stuffed bear's claw was the weapon used. He also finds a white gecko on the players body, which has, for some reason, spurred the interest of the FBI and the Air Force. Garth soon learns that another big-game hunter was murdered, and a white gecko was placed on his body, as well. Soon, two more hunters are killed with the same ‘calling card’ left behind. Eventually, Garth learns that all the murdered hunters have a connection to him. ‘Wiprud is a real whiz with this type of screwball crime novel,’ attested Bruce Grossman on the Bookgasm Web site. ‘It seems so preposterous, but yet so much fun, you can't help but want to see what happens next.’ Referring to the novel as a ‘humdinger,’ a Publishers Weekly contributor appreciated the story's ‘wacky characters and even wackier situations,’ adding that it has ‘enough heart to make it all work."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Drood Review of Mystery, May 1, 2004, review of Pipsqueak, p. 13; January 1, 2005, Larry D. Sweazy, review of Stuffed, p. 12.
MBR Bookwatch, May, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Stuffed.
New York Times, December 11, 2001, Joyce Wadler, ‘Holmes Had His Pipe. This Sleuth Has Thousands,’ profile of Brian W. Wiprud, p. 2.
Publishers Weekly, April 4, 2005, review of Stuffed, p. 48; July 17, 2006, review of Crooked, p. 142; August 21, 2006, review of Sleep with the Fishes, p. 56; April 23, 2007, review of Tailed, p. 35.
Bookgasm,http://www.bookgasm.com/ (November 12, 2007), Bruce Grossman, review of Tailed.
BookLoons,http://bookloons.com/ (November 12, 2007), Mary Ann Smyth, reviews of Sleep with the Fishes, Crooked, Stuffed, and Tailed.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (November 12, 2007), Joe Hartlaub, review of Pipsqueak.
Books 'n' Bytes,http://www.booksnbytes.com/ (November 12, 2007), Carl Brookins, review of Sleep with the Fishes, review of Sleep with the Fishes, Harriet Klausner, reviews of Pipsqueak, Crooked, and Stuffed, Jon Jordan, review of Pipsqueak, and Ali Karim, reviews of Stuffed and Crooked.
Brian Wiprud Home Page,http://www.wiprud.com (November 12, 2007).
Huntress Book Reviews,http://www.huntressreviews.com/ (May 29, 2007), review of Tailed.
Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (November 12, 2007), Lesley Lawrence, review of Pipsqueak.
Rackelhanen—Fly Fishing Magazine,http://www.rackelhanen.se/ (November 12, 2007), biography of Brian M. Wiprud.
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (November 12, 2007), ‘Author Spotlight: Brian M. Wiprud."
ReviewingTheEvidence.com,http://reviewingtheevidence.com/ (November 12, 2007), Michael Grollman, review of Pipsqueak, Rudy Franchi, review of Pipsqueak, and Maddy Van Hertbruggen, review of Pipsqueak.
Shots: The Crime & Mystery Magazine,http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (November 12, 2007), interview with Brian M. Wiprud.