RARA-AVIS: Pelecanos, Riorden

From: dcannon1@ix.netcom.com
Date: 13 Jan 2000

I was at a Pelecanos' event this week. Very interesting! He said that the King Suckerman movie wasn't being held up by Sean "Puffy" Combs problems, as he was a producer in name only. The problem was with the script. He figured the jacket copy, included Combs, because he is more famous than Pelelecanos. But he sems to have reached a critical mass, that generates a lot of publicity, himself. The Jan 3(?)rd, article in Publishers Weekly regarding Pelecanos was also intersting. It should be avalilable on their web site. He attributes a lot of the media he's getting, now, to journalist here, reading forign publications. He says that when he has gone abroad, he has gotten a lot more attention than here, that results in publications thinking they are missing out on somthing and should cover him, also.

He stated that he is sticking to DC as a location and that he has tried to chronicle it through the century. He writes about a Washington, that others don't, the other side of the tracks, the underbelly. Nothing about the Federal Government. he says his next book is going to deal with race, as though his earlier books have only touched on it. I'll be interested to see what that translates into

His current book, Shame the Devil, deals with the aftermath of violent crime. His writes about a diferent kind of hard boiled character that is also very sensitive, than discussed before in the sensitive PI thread. One of teh scenes he read, dealt with the thoughts and feelings of someone who had lost his son to violence. He said that he thought that hard boiled writing had to be true to deep feelings, when asked what that meant and if he reaearched it by interviewing victims, he said he went into himself and imagined what he would feel if somthing like that happened to him.

Another book, that I've enjoyed lately is Rick Riorden's The Last King of Texas. It's much closer to hard boiled than his earlier PBOs. It's an iteresting transition to hardcover. This book deals more with race and class and seems more serious than his earlier ones. His first two books, between them won the Shamus, Edgar and Anthony awards, though. The character, Robert Johnson could also generate some more discussion on the hardboiled pets thread. In another interesting twist, his character, a PI, has taken a temporary job as a Medival Literature profesor. Riorden, himself has a truly frightening day job, he teaches middle school english. I imagine that could lead one, to write books with a high body count.

Don Cannon
< dcannon1@ix.netcom.com>

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