Re: RARA-AVIS: Dated books

From: Doubting Thomas (
Date: 14 Dec 2000

I think that dated hooks or gimmicks are more of a problem for the reader than for the genre as a whole. I mean look at Dickens "A Christmas Carol" or A. C. Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. They are full of dated concepts and gimmicks, but we as readers are so familiar with the Victorian environment (at least fictionally), that it doesn't interfere with the telling of the tale. On the other hand, there are everyday concepts of '20s-'40's America that not so well known to the everyday reader today.

As a bit of a history buff (runs in the family), I have to admit to not having a problem, if the writer successfully pulls me into the period. Chandler, to me does that best. But I remember literature class where simple things became massive stumbling blocks to readers. Especially in pre-WWII mystery fiction.

My $0.02 Andrew

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