Re: RARA-AVIS: Read Ian Rankin

Mark Sullivan (
Wed, 24 Mar 1999 20:02:00 -0500 (EST) Enrique wrote of Ian Rankin:

But it is, in reality, truly tough crime fiction, anything but tame or
gentle or Scottish as we perceive it!

First, I totally agree on how great the Inspector Rebus books by Ian
Rankin are. But I've got to ask, Enrique, where does the conception
that Scottish lit is tame and gentle come from? Just about everything
I've read from there is pretty dark stuff, although it is often joined
with a wickedly nasty sense of humor (or should that be humour?).
Although for the most part not crime books, the "Acid Plaid" writers
like Irvine Welsh and Alan Warner, plus their forbear Alex Trocchi are
full of existential dread, so is much of the music from those realms,
Jesus and Mary Chain and Mogwai, in particular.

I see Rankin also writes as Jack Harvey (why would he pick a pseudonym
so close to John Harvey? Was John already established when Rankin
started using the penname? Shades of John Ross Macdonald). I haven't
read any of these. Are they as good as the Rankins and are they in
print in the US?


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