Re: RARA-AVIS: Professionals and Amateurs

From: Mark Sullivan ( AnonymeInc@WEBTV.NET)
Date: 04 Feb 2000

Jim wrote this description:

"In fact, I believe that today the role of the loner protagonist (who relies on his/her toughness, determination, personal code, and street smarts) can best be developed and made believable through an amateur. "

Sounds like serial killers and/or bounty hunters, both professionals in their own way.

But his main point was:

"I don't believe you need a pro to sustain a series. . . . What you need is a reason to have this non-pro involved in crime stories again and again, and that may best be accomplished by protagonists who always live on the edge of the law."

But aren't these "live on the edge of the law" types also professionals in their own way if they are able to sustain their place there? They may not be successful professionals like Parker, but they have would-be trades as scammers, crooks and bottom feeders.

But let's get concrete here, it's time to name names. Can you actually name successful (as in believable, not sales) series that meet your criteria? The only one I can think of is Joe Lansdale's great Hap and Leonard series. And that is very much an exception, as well as exceptional, case in my mind


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