RARA-AVIS: Re: Another good online source, and Gentlemen Prefer Cheese

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@total.net)
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 10:07:40 -0400 >Is there a good on-line site for finding out-of-print crime fiction? I've
>been intrigued by the discussion of some titles here, and would like to get
>my hands on them, but am uncertain where to turn. (I'm really anxious to
>read "Green Ice".)

For used books, you can also check out check out the Advanced Book
Exchange, a search engine that allows you to wander through the catalogues
of used book stores all over the world. I finally caved in and used it
(generally, I prefer the hands-on quest of visiting used book stores,
garage sales, church bazaars, etc. in search of treasure ) and found two
books I've been looking for for over fifteen years. And not too expensive
either (although that would depend on the individual store, and what one
calls expensive). Check 'em out at http://WWW.abebooks.com/

As for if there are any "really" good or bad books, I'm sorry, but just
because someone likes a book (or a play or a song or a hamburger) doesn't
immediately bestow an aura of quality on it. Some kind of objective quality
must exist, or there ceases to be any reason to seek it, or attempt to
create it, and if that happens, we might as well roll over and die. If mere
popularity is a sign of quality, Danielle Steele is a better writer than
Daly, Hammett and Chandler combined. Democracy is good in politics, lousy
in art (imagine if Ringo wrote one quarter of the Beatles songs).

Having gone this far out on the limb, I might as well swing a bit. There's
also nothing wrong with liking "bad" books. Bill Pronzini calls them
alternative classics in his Gun in Cheek and Son of Gun in Cheek, I call
them Cheese. In fact, July is Cheese Month around here. I put away the
"good" books, grab a few cold ones, hit the hammock, shove a tape in the
machine, and plow through some so-bad-they're-good no-brain, no-gain Cheese
Classics. Some of my favorite cheese classics include the Honey West
series, the Rocky Steele books, Dan Turner stories, some later Mike
Shaynes, and a whole bunch of one-shot wonders, mostly old bargain bin
paperbacks with the standard babe and gun on the cover.

So, mavens of the reading list, what say we proclaim July Cheese Month
here, too? And remember, today's cream is tomorrow's cheese.

Kevin Smith
Web Guy for The Thrilling Detective Web Site
For info, mailto:kvnsmith@total.net

"Well, I'll have some rotten nights after I've sent you over/But that'll
- Seeing the Real You at Last (Bob Dylan, via Dashiell Hammett)

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