RARA-AVIS: Re: Here comes a regular

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 08 Feb 2000

Jim Blue wrote

> Who cares about his style?

Me for one. And evidently Raymond Chandler, who said it was the most important thing for a writer to have. Surely a big attraction of certain writers, in whatever genre, is their style?

>You're right, he gets his time dead even, and
>he gets it, and he gets it, and he gets it until it gets in the way and gets
>boring. As Juri pointed out earlier, some of the "getting" that he does,
>relates to nothing in particular and is too superficial to qualify as
>enlightening. My take is that his books are padded by at least 30 pages and
>that what he needs most is a better, tougher editor.

Thirty pages? We're talking about 30 pages here? By today's standards, Pelecanos books are positively short, compared to some of the bloated work of some of his over-rated contemporaries. Most of Pelecanos' books are in the 200-250 page range, aren't they? Meanwhile, some of his contemporaries' could easily lose a hundred or more pages.

As for boring, again, I think, at least in the first-person Stephanos books (and Cormany's Dan Kruger books before him, as Mark mentioned), that the pop culture references are far from boring. And I never found them that obtrusive in the Clay/Carras books either, or at least the ones I've read so far. Then again, I'm interested in knowing what characters listen to, where they hang out, what they think of as cool. Probably makes me kind of boring, too.

> Styles evolve. Craft doesn't.

Craft doesn't evolve? Can you pinpoint the date it stopped, so we'll all know?

But, hey, I'd bring a great big glass of whiskey to you anyhow.

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ Now: The last few days to vote for The Thrillies. Soon: The P.I. Poll on Short Fiction, plus new stuff of our own.

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