RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V2 #180

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@total.net)
Tue, 27 Jan 1998 10:27:52 -0400 >This is something that bugs me about some PI and cop fiction: when
>do these guys find the time to sit down and write 60,000 words about
>their last case?

Well, the same could be said for all first person fiction. Unless you go to
the pretensions of having every single PI (or cop, I guess) expain the
circumstances of how every single book came to be. Or, I guess, have them
also be writers.Come to think of it, Les Roberts' Saxon, I think, and
William J. Reynolds' Nebraska are writers, and seem to pull it off, and
doesn't Max Collins' Nate Heller write his novels as installments of his
memoirs? Still, it seems one pretension I could skip. Look at some of those
old novels from the last century where the author banged around for pages
and pages explaining how the book itself came to be. Who cares? Let's get
on with the story.

As for hardboiled fiction specifically, I find first person to generally be
the quickest way into the hero's head. Assuming, of course, that hardboiled
fiction can have "heroes."

The Thompson book, evidently written by a dead man, is a case in point.
Would it be better if it was written in third person? I don't think so,
although it might be neat to have it written in second person, addressed to
Lou in his grave.

Oh, and the American publisher of Martin Rowson's The Wasteland was Harper
& Row. Oh, lucky me, that's the one I have, and there are a few explanatory
notes at the back of the book, which may help some of us (not me,
though...I think it's beyond me, for now...I just like to look at the
pretty pictures).

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

"It's the detectives come to see about the parents
Who are ready to hear the worst about their daughter's disappearance...
I don't how much more of this I can take...
She's filing her nails while they're dragging the lake..."
- Watching the
Detectives (Elvis Costello)

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