<<Whether or not Joyce Carol Oates likes Cain and
Chandler, she is an
interesting writer, whose attitude is indeed often ambiguous.>>
I must disagree. She strikes me as an angry writing machine
substance. For a while I mistook her obvious facility with words for
literary talent. When I think back on her books, all I retrieve is a
blur of political screeds, angry commentary on "issues", and a nasty
take on men. To stay on topic: I fail to see what exactly qualifies her
to be a critic of crime fiction. Why did a review of Chandler's Library
of America reissue -- the first appearance of a crime writer in that
series -- go to her, of all people? She has neither sympathy nor
understanding for the genre (in fact, she despises it). She also,
incredibly, fails to make allowances for people who were writing in a
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