Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: You're HOW old? and a few other comments

Date: 05 Jan 2000

Victoria -- I think one Burke is well worth reading: THE LOST GET-BACK BOOGIE
(I'm sure a number of other people on this list would agree; I believe this discussion has come up before, in fact). It's a crime novel, though not part of either of his series, originally published by LSU Press, I believe. The manuscript apparently benefited greatly from help from the master himself, Charles Willeford. The Robicheaux novels (or at least the two or three that I tried) gave me a headache. The prose is a little too Wolfean for my tastes. Later...Kip

Victoria Esposito-Shea <> on 01/05/2000 10:59:40 AM

Please respond to

To: cc: (bcc: Kip Stratton/AUS/NIC) Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: You're HOW old? and a few other comments

>Jim Doherty mentioned his belief that most people on this list were first
>"blown away" by a hard-boiled writer while they were in high school. I'm
wondering if that is
>true, just as I am wondering if most of you were born after '58, as
another recent post


I joined the list a little over two years ago, and I had the definite initial impression that I was younger than most of the people here, and that there were very few women on the list (I was born in 1970). I was wrong in both cases, as it turns out, though of course there's a difference between the demographics of the list "regulars" and of those, like me, who listen avidly and speak rarely.

As far as beginning to read HB early, I know I did. I went through the juvenile mysteries pretty young, and when I was about twelve I picked up my parents' Hammet omnibus, which I read avidly, and which then led me to more of the classics, and so on. (I wouldn't trade the early beginning for the world, though I do think that I'd have a clearer view of Hammett if I'd started later. As it is, I still re-read with something of the viewpoint of a twelve-year-old going "Wow! This is so cool!"--or whatever the phrase was back then.) And I still read pretty voraciously, which is one reason I didn't put in a top 5 list--unless the first book I read by an author really, really sucks, I basically always go through that author for a while.

Speaking of really, really sucks, I finally got around to reading James Lee Burke--I'm terrible at titles, but I think the one I picked up was "A Stained White Radiance." God, it was awful. I didn't want to hear all that much about his time in Vietnam, and by the time he got done stacking up the murdered first wife and the second wife with lupus that's apparently causing her mental problems and the adopted refugee child and the incestuous political family with the abusive father and stepmother, I was just stiing here going, yeah, so where's the story? Is there a plot here, or is this just modern Southern Gothic that got out of hand?

Are they all like that? Should I hunt up something earlier, or is it not worth the time?

Later, Vicky

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