Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled This & That

From: pabergin (
Date: 18 Apr 2000

Listmeister Bill asked apros pos of STREET 8
>Can you tell us more about this book? I've never heard
>of it.
It was published in 1977 and is probably the best Miami novel ever written. Fans of the disintegrating protagonist school of literature (and there is no shortage) would probably elevate it (were they aware of it) to the level of any number of forgettable European (mostly French) novels whose theme, to the extent that they have one, is the individual crushed by his own existential dread.

There are people who think in those terms, you know.

Ah, well. Bobby Mead is the last Anglo business owner on SW 8th St. (Calle Ocho) He's got some other problems, too. Bodies fall. Quite a lot of them, actually, but the story is always Bobby's. There's a lot of violence done around him and, quite incidentally, to him, but it is the violence that he does to himself, and the quirky way he finds a way out -- if it is a way out -- that is the spine of the story.

Bill Crider, who shares my enthusiasm for this book, could probably give you a succinct reason why it is a masterpiece. I can't. Succinct ain't me. I just know it is.

On other matters, DAY OF THE LOCUST is a good nominee.

I am disappointed to see that the old HB/noir argument is starting up again, though. Arggh! PB

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