RE: RE: RARA-AVIS: Pelecanos: new one

Date: 22 Aug 2000

I gather some of the warm exchange on this thread originated in the GP interview/conversation (which I haven't seen), when he talked about the basis for the plot of his upcoming novel. Illustrates the danger of making statements about the historical basis of a work of fiction.

On the other side of it, I hope we agree it's silly to hold any author's output up against the crime stats.

Whether Pelecanos "profiles" is another question. Always seemed to me that the main moral factor in his novels had to do with who was preying on whom, often less a matter of abstract justice than personal involvement. You help people you care about, whatever it takes, and cover all tracks...even if, for instance, it means leaving a friend's body to rot in an alley so his death won't be connected to a shootout. [Sounds cruel as I write it, but GP works on the reader so well that you can't figure anything else that could have been done.]

As a new reader of GP, I'm not "counting" types, nor have I noticed particular tendencies. What I like best is his decentered approach to plot, which shifts point of view so we see the insides of more characters, good and bad.

Bill Hagen

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