Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V2 #603

MT (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 10:59:18 -0500 Doug Levin:

<<Speaking of Westlake, what's the take on The Ax? I just finished it
and enjoyed it--its breeziness is unsettling. It is also dark and hard
(its protagonist a white-collar Lou Ford, perhaps), but doesn't feel
particularly so. I also found its simplicity (plot-wise) oddly
compelling (or maybe it's not so simple).>>

I found this book oddly disturbing, perhaps because of its ferocious
concentration. The spirit of Fredric Brown must have been hovering in
Westlake's vicinity while he was writing this.

<<In other hard-boiled reading, I found Bart Spicer's _The Long Green_ a
littleflat. A word of advice on other Carney Wilde books would be
great. ArthurLyons' _The Killing Floor_ was pretty good I thought.
Strong action, thoughyou didn't want to think too hard about the pieces
(though Chandler had that problem too, of course). Any recommendations
about other Jacob Asch books?>>

Spicer was a bit of a writing machine. I am a minor fan of his, though I
don't think he was as good as his greatest contemporaries like Charles
Williams, John D. MacDonald, Marcolm Braly, or Peter Rabe. Rabe is a
writer you would probably enjoy (I'm guessing, of course). While being a
thoroughly commercial writer, he was also an artist.

I have been a fan of Arthur Lyons's for many years. My two favorites are
_Dead Ringer_ and _Castles Burning_.


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