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

Date: 03 Jul 2000

Crais backs away from so much wiseguy stuff in subsequent novels; and also away from all the reference to movies/tv. Thank goodness, since most of us prefer to keep Trivial Pursuit separate from our reading. With all the referentiality, however, I was disappointed that Crais couldn't transform LA into the land of hyperreal. After having read several more (butnot the much praised LA REquium), I no longer expect him to be able to do much with the feel of LA--the way Ellroy or Pelecanos or Block can do with their chosen cities.

He's good with his plotlines--which typically involve going against an organization, the big shootout, empowerment or attempted empowerment of a woman who needs it,and,most amazingly, absolutely no legal repercussions. Nice world to live in, if you can kick, chop, and shoot quickly.

I like Free Fall, for the sense of loss when certain characters die, but thought Voodoo River stretched credibility. Crais shouldn't try to "go home" to little La. again.

Bill Hagen

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