Re: RARA-AVIS: Hard-Boiled vs Noir & Poodle Springs

Mario Taboada (
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 02:55:18 +0000 John Lau:

<<while I'm touching on Marlowe, I'll say that I didn't care much for
Parker's completion of Poodle Springs, never felt that he came within
miles of capturing the character. thought a lot of other authors did a
better job in the short story compilation published by Knopf.>>

While Parker did a decent job of making a novel out of Chandler's
beginning, what comes through is his own voice (not one that I enjoy
much), and that ruins it. Chandler, by dint of his marvellous prose,
created constant tension and forward motion, not to mention magic. By
comparison, Parker takes you for a stroll around the block. Parker also
wrote a sequel to The Big Sleep (called "Perchance to dream") which was
okay but again failed to bring Chandler back. That said, these two books
were better than the shapeless and insufferable Spensers he was turning
out at the time.

Speaking of completions, Lawrence Block did a wonderful job in
completing Woolrich's last novel (whose title my memory denies me right
now). One is not aware that there is any author other than Woolrich. It
takes a highly skilled and versatile writer to do that (and a selfless
one), though in this case a big chunk of the novel was written, which
surely made it easier.


Mario Taboada
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