RARA-AVIS: Re: Surrogate and The Two Jakes

Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Sun, 19 Dec 1999 11:55:37 -0400

Bill asked:
>And speaking of Christmas presents, someone just gave me a copy of a 1984
>GALLERY magazine that has a short story by Robert B. Parker. "Surrogate"
>is the title. Does anyone know whether it's been reprinted?

Yep, in a British collection called NEW CRIMES III, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (1991, Robinson Publishing), that I found in Toronto. As I remember it, Surrogate was a surprisingly nasty little piece, but is interesting in showing how Parker may have taken the Spenser series.

As far as I know, NEW CRIMES III was the last in this series. Too bad, because it was a great idea, an annual (I think) bunch of stories, a nice combination of old and new, British and American, and an awful lot of the stories tended to the harder side of crime fiction. In the three books I've found, there was stuff by John D. MacDonald, Mike Ripley, Bill Pronzini, Ed McBain, David Goodis, Charles Willeford, Mike Ripley, Barry Fantoni, James Crumley, Sara Paretsky, Ed Gorman and Andrew Vachss. Guys like that.

And Fred wrote:
>I'm glad someone started a thread on Chinatown. I treated myself this Xmas
>by buying a new 25th anniversary commorative "widescreen" edition with
>"retrospective interviews" and a color postcard(!) Earlier this year I
>bought the Robert Towne screenplay of Chinatown. And, in some ways, The Two
>Jakes is a better movie.

Hey, I'm just glad to hear anyone besides me confess that they liked THE TWO JAKES. I'm not sure if it's better than Chinatown, but it's gotta be one of the most under-rated P.I. films around. And if you liked Chinatown, it's almost essential viewing. It's a true sequel, not some half-ass remake with a Roman numeral tacked onto the title. It's adds depth and nuance to the original, and builds upon it. It's possibly the last real sequel to come out of Hollywood.

Somehow I doubt the third Jake Gittes film will ever be made, since the last one had all the principals (Nicholson, Towne and Robert Evans, the producer) at each other's throats, which is why Nicholson ended up directing it himself. But if they ever patch things up, I'll be one of the first in line. Fred, you get the popcorn...

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ It's Time for the 1999 Cheap Thrills P.I. Poll! Vote now! Vote often!

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