RARA-AVIS: Oh! To be on Never Street . . .

pabergin (pabergin@gte.net)
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 21:04:10 -0500

It's Dec. first, therefore I can officially say something about Loren Estleman's masterpiece NEVER STREET, a book I have mentioned before.

Amos Walker is an anachronism. As, possibly, are all of the PIs in print but, in NS, Estleman shows how a character (and a character type?) as out of sync with what is contemporary America as Walker is can be made relevant again. Put him where he belongs. In a world, literally, of light and shadow. See what he does. In a world or situation absent logic and any clear or binding temporal reference, Illusion (read: movies) makes as much sense as anything else. More sense, actually.

If you're chasing a shadow, look to shadows.

The final scene in the old movie palace is as stunning a piece of work as has been done by any crime fiction writer. Ever. Period. I wonder how long it'll take some Hollywood wunderkind to wake up and say (as if the idea were original), "Hey, this'd make a GREAT fucking MOVIE."

7 or 8 years, probably. Provided they start getting some brighter wunderkinds out there. PB

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