Re: RARA-AVIS: Crafty argument

Date: 09 Feb 2000

Hi Mark,
    I haven't read Lansdale and O'Connell, but now I will. I suppose that the reason I hammer at GP so much is that I see him as someone of enormous talent who indulges himself as a writer, the Thomas Wolff disease or "Every word I write is so cool it all belongs in the book." I believe that poor pacing is lethal (and not very forgivable).
    GP's poor plotting skills don't tear me up too much for the same reason that Chandler's didn't. I wish that he was better at story building (and I think he is improving) but the guy draws great characters and uses language so well, that the weakness of the stories is much easier for me to take than
"the look how "now" I am" author talk.
    I hear you and Maura regarding the list making, but I think that a writer who chooses redundancy, and the piling on of extraneous detail (if that is what he's doing) as metaphors for his "social placement" is riding a lame horse. It may identify him as a down brother, but it doesn't do anything for the quality of the work.
    My love/hate affair with Robert Crais has less to do with his list making than with the lists he chooses to make. Elvis Cole as Peter Pan wears thin for me pretty quickly. He is sooooooooooooooooooo sensitive.
    Thanks for the great conversation.

                                    Jim Blue

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