Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Pelecanos

From: Mark Blumenthal (
Date: 07 Feb 2000

Whew, I finally couldn't take it any more. I had to have GP's name spelled correctly and get rid of Adams. I agree with those who feel all the period details just slow the story If I care so much to learn what was what was being played in pop and soul in 1976 D.C., I'd look it up. It seems to me Pelacanos is trying to write a straight novel with hard boiled elements.I think he would have a more powerful story if most of it were stripped away. For a hard boiled author immersing the reader in a certain time and location he should read Chandler who didn't need to so bloat his books with so much extraneous material.

When I read Gone with the Wind lo these many years ago, I was amazed how many things someone can tell by merely looking into another's eyes. I had never been able to do that. I still can't. Here is a passage from KS, page 47 of the pb:

"I see you've noticed Vivian", said Marchetti, good naturedly enough but with an edge. Karras saw a hardness in Marchetti's eyes, but a surface hardness with only insecurity beneath the veneer.

I don't think that's too much different than GWTW.

Another pretty neutral observation is that, like the Lethal Weapon movie series, the African American is more stable with a steady relationship, while the White is the free spirit. That's contrary to the usual stereotypes of the past.. Mark

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