Re: RARA-AVIS: Huh?- Yeaaah...

Etienne Borgers (
Thu, 23 Dec 1999 19:55:46 -0800 (PST)

--- Kevin Burton Smith <> wrote:

> And Etienne wrote:
> >Gosh!
> >...this sounds exactly like the second half of
> Robert
> >Parker's life and Spenser taking over!!
> >
> >(Sorry, I couldn't resit!)
> Why? Someone steal your chair? Anyway, I digress....

> Granted, I know less than Etienne seems to know
> about the second half
> of Parker's life (alcoholism?), but still.... Like
> it or not,
> Parker's still kicking, and still producing honest
> work, even if it
> doesn't meet everybody's high standards. A pulp
> hack? Sheesh!
> .../...
(Heavily Snipped)

That's exactly what I feared! and therefore felt obliged to add that "I couldn't resist" Trying to signal I was joking... not that I was buying new furniture. Certainly not trying to underline or implying that Parker could be an alcoholic...

And this kind of "joke" I dare to put it on a restricted and specialist audience as this list, and certainly not on a radio show speaking about mystery novels, for instance.

Kevin however detected what was the real subject of my ironical statement, by the development he gave to it in the second part of his message . Series is a problem as we discussed it previously here, and as I already said: culprits are also the readers who always ask for more. Helped by "pushy" publishers.

What totally disappointed me it is not that Parker tries to keep his Spenser's series going, but it is all the compromises he did to keep it... to end producing professionally crafted uninteresting pieces. And I resent it really as I considered Parker as a potentially great writer of the genre, based on the novels I red years ago. Seems to me that he refused to give all his potential. But hey! Maybe there is what you could really reproach me for: I was probably overestimating the literary capabilities of Robert Parker?

To end, I admit that I don't care about what is happening to heroes in series from mediocre writers.

And now a truism (concluded from this thread about series, that followed Kevin's message): Yes, there are good series... And, no, all series are not good...

But... the risk of capsize is greater in series for most of the writers.

Kevin's text:
> But Etienne raises a valid point about series
> characters. There's
> always the danger, particularly in first
> person-narrated series, with
> the hero's identity meshing with that of the writer,
> a deception
> encouraged by the authors themselves. And it's
> certainly nothing new.
> Check out the author photos of Ken Millar sporting a
> fedora on the
> backs of his paperbacks, or Spillane starring as
> Hammer in a flick.
> Or, yes, Parker posing in baseball cap and sneakers,
> with dog, about
> the time a dog was introduced into the series.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu 23 Dec 1999 - 22:56:48 EST