RE: RARA-AVIS: Crais' LA Requiem

Date: 19 Jul 2000

(Getting to my e-mail infrequently;sorry for delay): I suppose "treatment" is ambiguous: I meant the writer's treatment of women characters, regardless of how they happen to be treated by the men around them. Balzic's wife and, in ...Slow Tomatoes, the victim's wife live and breath and have their own voices on the page. Though their lives are shaped by males, they have their say...and it's often painful to read.

It's a quality I like in Pelecanos also, though he does much less with women characters. In his case, he decenters character focus, passing the proactive roles around from novel to novel, so that the reader can see an event from several different perspectives. Crais is moving into that level of writing, even while sticking to the series approach, it seems to me. On Sat, 15 Jul 2000 10:54:39 -0700 (PDT) you wrote:

> <<Won't argue with the comments on women, except to say that I think
> Crais is reaching for character depth, and to my mind has succeeded,
> at least in Sunset Express and LA Requiem. I'm saying this in the context
> of rather low expectations of treatment of women in hardboiled fiction--
> something we've discussed before. Among the authors I'm most familiar with,
> Constantine sets the standard--just read The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes, and
> was really turned around.>>
> You mean K.C.C. sets the standard for a good treatment or that his novel is
> exemplary of a bad treatment? It isn't clear from your last sentence.
> Regards,
> MrT
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