RARA-AVIS: Re: Higgins/Williams

Paul Duncan (paul.duncan@asml.nl)
Tue, 09 Nov 1999 17:24:42 +0100

> Saddened to hear of the death of Geo. V. Higgins. He created three hard
> boiled masterpieces -- THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, THE DIGGER'S GAME and
> COGAN'S TRADE -- but then seemed to just stop trying.

I think GVH changed his angle of attack. His first few novels were all about lowlife crime. Then GVH decided to concentrate on various types of politicos, upper-class scammers, mobsters, money-makers and the like. If you haven't read A CHOICE OF ENEMIES then you have missed one of the great books of the 80s.

GVH's skill was in telling stories through dialogue. It is not always easy to read because the style of writing assumes that a) the reader is sucking in all the info, and that b) the reader does not require a murder or intrigue every 50 or so pages. For me, GVH is as intense a reading experience as reading Ellroy. Ellroy concentrates on the bottom-feeders, whilst GVH worked on the top-feeders.

By the way, I was in contact with GVH for the past year - I did an interview (unpublished) and plan to do a short book for Pocket Essentials. More details nearer the date.

> Has Charles Williams' life (and death) ever been written about?

I know of someone who has spent years researching Williams, been in contact with his agent etc. Hopefully he'll find a publisher.

- paul

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