RE: RARA-AVIS: On The Left Coast

Andy Hughes (
Tue, 3 Mar 1998 22:42:55 -0500 >>This "baggage" they carry around seems to be cropping up a lot in
>>recent books. I read Dennis Lehane's two novels, which are kind of
>>modern hardboiled things, I think, and his lead character is haunted
>>by memories of his father and so on. I know I've seen it elsewhere,
>>too. I think it's an overused device.
Yes, Lehane's first two novels do involve quite a bit of background to
the characters, including the role of the narrator's father in his
upbringing. However, that "baggage" drives critical aspects of the
second book. Of Lehane's three novels, the first two form a wonderful
two-part work. The third, admittedly, doesn't measure up to the first
two, in part, because Lehane tried to rewrite "The Big Sleep." It was
done consciously, but succumbed to a Hollywood mentality about half-way
through. "Baggage," sometimes is simply that, used to puff up the page
count. When done well, as I think Lehane does for the most part in his
first two novels, it's part of character setting.


>From: William Denton[]
>Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 1998 5:30 PM
>Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: On The Left Coast
>On Tue, 3 Mar 1998, Mari Hall wrote:
>: Yeah, but he said -basically- that he wrote "Marlowe with baggage";
>: I suppose Bosch's search for his mother's killer or mother or
>: whatever (that @#$% backstory). I don't think it was "thinking" so
>: much as the "baggage".
>William Denton | Toronto, Canada | | Caveat lector.
> "It is better to incur a mild rebuke than to perform an onerous task."
> -- "Uncle" Oswald Hendryks Cornelius
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