RARA-AVIS: Re: Pronzini

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 14:08:44 -0400

Before we canonize Pronzini, remember it's no good just writing great books; eventually someone has to read them.

While I've enjoyed everything Pronzini has written (or that I've been able to find and afford), the sad fact is that most of his stuff is out of print, at least as far as I know, and he doesn't even have a current mass paperback deal, so mostly he's preaching to the hardcover choir and those who don't pay for their books (critics and folks with a decent library near their homes).

Ross Macdonald may have been a one-trick pony (as was Chandler), but he knew that pony damn well, and a lot of folks enjoyed watching him ride, including some folks who didn't even know they liked horses.

And as impressive as 1001 MIDNIGHTS is, it seemed to me that a lot of the contributors spent a lot of time slapping each other on the back, and slagging other contemporaries who weren't part of the club. Of course, maybe I'm biased myself, and after all, I haven't read the book for years.

Yep, Pronzini might be a great guy (and from all accounts he is) but I'm not sure if Macdonald should pack his bags and leave quite yet.

But by all means, let's put something by Pronzini on the reading list. BLUE LONESOME is about to hit the racks as a trade paperback, which means it will be at least almost affordable, and more easily available. And I think our own Blurbin' Paul Bergin is quoted on the cover. If it's half as good as A WASTELAND OF STRANGERS or SHACKLES we're in for a real treat.

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ Now available! Our Summer Issue, focussing on Radio Private Eyes, plus new fiction by Peter Parmantie and Kathy Korty.

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