RE: RARA-AVIS: Critics again

Enrique Bird (
Tue, 6 Apr 1999 18:10:45 -0400 Friends,

Boucher was the best mystery critic I have ever read. He was knowledgeable
about everything (or so it seemed). When he died in 1968, he left a void in
the NYT Book Review and in EQMM never adequately filled.

Boucher disliked Spillane originally, and was very negative towards him and
his type of fiction. He later relented to a point.

Boucher had his likes and dislikes, as all of us have, but he let us know
clearly what they were I very much like such a reviewer because he will give
you light, even when I disagree with some of his tastes and predjuices. If I
know him, I can have a good idea of whether I might like a book he dislikes;
the same viceversa.

Curiously, I bond in a similar manner to movie critic Leonard Maltin, and
for similar reasons.

Over 20 years ago a collection of Bouchers reviews was published under the
title Multiplying Villanies .
Acquiring and reading it made many a good day for me.

Enrique Bird

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Crider []
> Sent: Monday, April 05, 1999 10:08 AM
> To:
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Critics again
> <As for A.Boucher, I recently read he put down a lot
> of good HB/Noir writers during his imperial career
> (?); having not read his articles I will refrain to
> emphasize.>
> I don't know who Anthony Boucher put down. I do know that when I was in
> grad school I went to the library stacks, got down the bound copies of the
> NYTBR, and read every Boucher column I could find. He was one of the
> first
> reviewers (if not the first) to take paperback originals seriously. He
> was
> practically the only (if not the only) reviewer in the 1950s to review
> writers like Harry Whittington, John D. MacDonald, and others who wrote
> almost exclusively for the paperback market. I'd read his columns, make a
> list, and head for the used-book stores. I owe him a huge debt.
> As for the two versions of KISS TOMORROW GOOD-BYE, they certainly exist.
> I
> have copies of both the 1940s Signet paperback, which appears to be a
> severely abridged version, and the hardcover edition.
> Bill Crider
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