RARA-AVIS: Re: Manville Moon, and Pay-Per-Word

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 02 Mar 2000

>JaneC mentioned Richard Deming. I'm not familiar with the book she listed,
>but I remember a series he wrote that, as best I can recall, was pretty
>entertaining. "The Gallows in my Garden," "Tweak the Devil's Nose" and
>"Whistle Past the Graveyard." They feature Manville Moon, a wise-cracking
>Midwestern private detective. Moon appeared in a couple of short stories in
>Manhunt. Deming also wrote at least one book, "Hit and Run," about an ex-cop
>turned PI named Barney Calhoun who is a little more serious about his work
>than Moon.

Dick, you're right on about the Manville Moon books. I haven't read the books, but I've managed to track down a few of the short stories, and they're all really good. Moon is very similar in tone to early Lew Archer, Dewey's Mac or Michael Collins' Slot Machine Kelly, a mixture of compassion, tough, pulpy energy and hard, sharp prose. He's also one of those "defective detectives" we were discussing recently. Thanks to WWII, he's got a cork, steel and leather contraption where his leg used to be.

Only thing, you refer to him as a Midwestern eye. I was under the impression that he was working in Buffalo. Doesn't really matter though--these are just great stories.

Anyway, I suggest we all go out and find as many old issues of Manhunt as we can, before they all end up in landfills or get hermetically-sealed in plastic by some A-type collector who puts 'em in a museum and charges all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em....

And in the category of "Someone Actually Said That":

>I don't mind paying 6.99 for a 400 page book, but do for a 180 page book...

Yeah, well, if page count versus price is the critical standard, I guess Dennis Lehane's stuff is good, after all.

See, Paul, you were naive like me. It turns out it's not the words, it's how many of 'em you can get for a dollar. Coming next from Dennis Lehane: the Boston area phonebook. Lots of words, non-contrived characters and an excellent word-to-price ratio. It's a breath of fresh air. Reserve your copy now. You won't want to miss it!

But I digress....

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ This month: The P.I. Poll on Short Fiction, plus new stuff from Hugh Lessig, Peter Parmantie and Dave White.

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 02 Mar 2000 EST