RARA-AVIS: Re: Willeford PICK UP

Sun, 29 Aug 1999 08:00:07 EDT

In a message dated 99-08-29 04:07:03 EDT, you write:

<< I was disappointed by the last line of Willeford's Pick-Up,
 thought it was a cheap and gimmicky end to an otherwise top-rate first
 novel. >> <<In 1967, when the story was written, I'm certain that the point was even more startling.>>

It's been awhile since I read PICK UP by C. Willeford but what I remember it was very clever . I liked the ending which was an eye opener especially when it was written 1955 and not 1967. A common theme in Noir is 'The Fresh' start and PICK UP is an up and down of new beginnings and the gloom is never interrupted.

If you'll go back and re-read the book you'll see some cool and crafty word play that you probably missed the first time around -- like ("Few men in the art world knew as much as I did about color." and on the very first page --
""Yes, you do," I agreed, "and you need it black.") This was in the first few chapters which shed some light on that eye popping ending and Wiilleford played this game all the way through the book.. Excellent read!

Another favorite of mine by Willeford is MIAMI BLUES.

John Weaver, www.pageonelit.com

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