RARA-AVIS: On The Left Coast

Rick Robinson (rkr@pacbell.net)
Tue, 03 Mar 1998 08:23:38 -0800 In answer to the question "where did everyone go, but I can attest that
Mari Hall, Frank Denton and I were in San Diego, attending Left Coast
Crime 8.

Though many of the events were not h-b related, the first thing on the
schedule Sunday morning was. Titled Raymond Chandler: The Ghost of
Honor, the panel began with the awarding of the Left Coast Crime
Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Wade. Bob is an Edgar winner and
author of 46 novels, 33 written in collaboration with Bill Miller. He
wrote under a number of pseudonyms including Wade Miller, Will Daemer,
Dale Wilmer and Whit Masterson.

Eight of his novels were made into movies, among them Touch of Evil,
adapted by Orson Wells from Wade's novel Badge of Evil.

The panel was moderated by Peter Rowe and also included Wade, Michael
Connelly and Arthur Salm. Connelly talked for some time about the
influence Chandler had on him and the way Chndler defined character and
place, but most of all for the unique voice Chandler's works have. Wade
told a story of going to Chandler's home in La Jolla, not too long
before Chandler's death, and how Chandler sat in a chair and the
visiting authors arrayed themselves around him like courtiers to

There was not a lot of discussion on Chandler=92s metaphors and similes, =
few were quoted. They and the writing as a whole seems timeless, it was
agreed by all. Connelly mentioned reading a chapter in The Little Sister
in which Marlowe takes a drive around LA to clear his mind and think
things through, and how he (Connelly) reads it before he begins every

I was glad to see this piece of programming, though I wish there had
been some Chandler paperbacks in the book dealers room. The panel did
mention the Library of America set.

There was also a lot of energy being displayed about Connelly=92s latest,
Blood Work, which was selling like the proverbial hot cake. I=92ll be
interested in hearing opinions of it once people on this list have read
it. I couldn=92t get through Concrete Blond so I haven=92t tried any more
Connelly but the buzz is he=92s in the very top rank of authors currently
writing crime fiction.

Rick Robinson
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