Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: RARA-AVIS Digest V3 #191

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 18 Apr 2000

> By using the Ripper formula, you don't have to concern yourself with
> realism. Who needs a fully dimensional murderer? Just make him a wacky
> genius with a particular tic. He likes to poke out eyes because he saw
> Mommie kissing Santa Claus. He likes to remove livers from brunette
> because his older sister would steal the liver off his breakfast plate..
>These books have much more in
> common with cozies than they do with realistic or hardboiled novels.

Or maybe with pure pulp stories. Cozies seem the other direction of unbelievable: "By george! A body! What luck!"

Still, I think this is an interesting argument. Serial killers do exist, yes, and there are severe psychological problems with them, but I think the time for the self-indulgent interest in them should pass. The interesting realistic problem now seems to be the anger of the culture, with people doing one-off shootings and crimes, the reasons even less understandable, more beatings and unsensical massacres. Another one in Detroit today. What's up with that? And where are the crime writers ready to dig into those types of crimes?

Too close to reality for most, I guess.

I read SHAME THE DEVIL recently. I think George is heading in the direction I'm speaking about. He's interesting in exploring that whacked-out violence that surrounds us daily. Good.

Neil Smith

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