The Must List 2004

Handsome Harry

NAME Dillinger Gang bank robber Harry Pierpont.
AGE 102
MUSTWORTHINESS Seventy years after he died in the Indiana electric chair, the Gang's leader roared back to life in James Carlos Blake's gritty, sexy eighth novel. ''Writing is a great way to express things without having to do them,'' says Blake, 57, who focuses his books almost exclusively on outlaws. ''I have a friend who said, 'Blake, it's a good thing you write about people who go out and shoot people or you'd be out shooting people.'''
ON HIS MUST LIST Garrison Keillor: ''He's a lot darker than people realize. I don't know how he's gotten away with this image as Midwestern bumpkin for so long.''
WORST JOB ''I've been a snake catcher, a Volkswagen mechanic, and a plumbing apprentice, but the worst was teaching college.''
NEXT For Harry, not much; for Blake, a novel about world middleweight champion Stanley Ketchel, who was murdered in 1910 at age 24.

Originally posted Jun 25, 2004 Published in issue #771-772 Jun 25, 2004 Order article reprints