RARA-AVIS: More on Thomas

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 May 2000

I remember that shortly after Thomas's death, some magazine (I'm thinking it was the Atlantic, but I could be wrong) published a real nice appreciation of him. I remember the author said something like "you always feel wiser after reading a Thomas book" and I think that's true.

There's a kind of painless "instructional" quality to Thomas's work, and it's one of the reasons he's one of my favorite hb writers. Whenever I read a Thomas book I feel like I'm a guest who's being given a priviledged tour of a world that's usually hidden. Of course, all good hb fiction should give you some version of this tour, but Thomas is just so damn well-informed that his tours seem more believable than others. Basically, I think the world operates pretty much according to Thomas's specs.

The other thing I really like about Thomas's work are his heroes, who without a doubt are some of the most appealing in the genre. They're tough, supremely competent men and women who have a wonderfully wry, knowing attitude about the world. It's like they've seen it all and can't do anything but laugh at it all.

Whenever I'm really stressed or depressed I pick up a Thomas book and it never fails to cheer me up. I guess there's just something powerfully reassuring about Thomas's vision. I mean, if Wu and Durant can handle being triple-crossed in the Phillippenes, maybe I can handle whatever junk's being tossed at me.

Guess I'm waxing a little poetic here, huh? :) But Thomas is one of my favorite writers in the genre, and I wish he was better known and appreciated.


===== Doug Bassett dj_bassett@yahoo.com

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