Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Spenser

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 16 Dec 2000

Kevin Burton Smith wrote:

> What? You guys don't cook? Tsk-tsk.

I cook, every day, but I don't like to read about it in a book that doesn't have a cook or some other person involved in food making as one of its protagonists.

> Citing old, and in some cases pretty obscure or minor eyes such as
> Bill Lennox, John Smith and Ed Rivers (and you could toss in Carney
> Wilde, Pete Schofield, Jim Bennett and Johnny Marshall) as P.I.'s in
> steady relationships does nothing to diminish the impact or influence
> of Parker creating a viable, long-term, steady relationship between
> two people that goes beyond having someone around to do the cooking
> and the laundry.

It's just boring to read. I've said this before, but for some reason I haven't come across a P.I. novel that tells about these things as good as some mainstream novels. If I want to read about the protagonist's human affairs, I prefer, say, Doris Lessing.

> But even mentioning the two or three rough chapters Chandler wrote of
> "Poodle Springs"is really stretching it. It would have been
> interesting to see where Chandler took it, but he died.

Yeah, I know it was stretching. For some reason I've always like those "rough" chapters and feel really sorry that Chandler didn't finish them.

> As for
> Michael Shayne, that cookin' fool, yeah he was married through the
> first six or seven books in the series, but that certainly didn't
> last long, did it?

Because she died.

> Look, I know Parker isn't for everyone, but like it or not, he put
> his mark on the last twenty or thirty years of crime fiction,
> particularly the detective novel, in ways that few others have.

You mean that when I say I don't like the books it's like saying I don't know they have a great influence? That's not what I meant. I just meant I don't like the books. Or book actually. Maybe I'll have to read another one. It's just that having read tons of paperbacks for my bibliography I feel like detaching from the genre. Currently I'm reading Sir Bertrand Russell's memoirs. Can you beat that?


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