RARA-AVIS: Smart-ass witticisms (was Crais)

From: stevethebear ( stevethebear@email.msn.com)
Date: 03 Jul 2000

Bill Denton opined:

> When THE MONKEY'S RAINCOAT was suggested as a book to read, I probably
> wouldn't have bothered if someone had said, "It's about a wise-cracking
> L.A. private eye who gets hired by a woman who can't afford to pay him and
> gets mixed up with a mobster and a suave, rich Mexican, but saves the day
> by loading lots of guns and breaking into the Mexican's house with his pal
> from Vietnam, a supertough mercenary who always wears sunglasses."

Amen, Brother Denton. I have read about half of the Crais output, and just can't bring myself to try others right now because of this trait (I will, however, tackle LA REQUIEM, since has been so favorably discussed on this list and other places). I am getting very weary of the
"private-eye-in-love-with-his-own-schtick" cliché ´hat seems so prevalent. The culprits, IMHO, include Coben (who even does it in third person!), G.M. Ford, and Crais.

I suppose we have Robert B. Parker to blame for a lot of this, but to me he always managed to do it with a wink and a smile. Crais, at least in the early work, comes at you with an elbow to the gut.

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