RARA-AVIS: Re: Spenser

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 16 Dec 2000

Etienne, you're right. I misunderstood you.

>Tss,tss Kevin! Always ready for the wrong battle...
>Selling is not the point, it's what they write to sell

Ah, if only you'd said that the first time around. What you said was:

>So I suggest that Parker Part II does not belong
>anymore to the kind of lit we discuss here, as doesn't
>any other best-seller specialist.

That seemed to imply, or at least I inferred, that you were saying if a writer reached the best-seller stage, he would automatically no longer qualify for discussion on this list, which would disqualify not only Parker, but Ellroy and Lehane and Leonard and Connelly and Block and a slew of others, solely on the grounds that they sold too much. But now that you've clarified your position, it at least makes a bit more sense.

But, still, if Parker's stuff sold, it was because he had created a market for it, not because he followed market demands. There was no market for that kind of private eye novel before Parker created it, so it's hard to accuse him of following a trend. And even with all the dreaded cooking and personal relationships, there is plenty of hard-boiled action in the Spenser novels, even some of the recent ones. And even the more recent novels aren't all tripe. Sure, there are some clunkers in the series (including, perhaps, the one book Juri has based all his opinions on), but that's the risk of being prolific. The fact is, the guy knows how to write. And I'm not even sure Parker really gives a damn about the marketplace anymore, anyway. I think he just writes the kind of books he wants to. It's what he does, and what he knows. And he's always had a bit of a "Who gives a shit?" attitude towards his critics and the marketplace. Like I said, a Buddy Holly would have done his rep just fine, but I'm kinda glad he stuck around.

And Anthony, if you have anything intelligent to say, please join in the discussion, instead of just sniping at me. Despite what you may believe, I have no problem with people holding opposing viewpoints to mine. I actually appreciate and enjoy a good, well-thought out debate. On my web site, I even encourage people to contribute opposing views.

Juri, Kerry, Jess, Etienne and I may all disagree about the relative value and merits of Spenser, but I don't think any of us have had our delicate little sensibilities damaged so far.

Sweet of you to be so concerned, though...


Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.thrillingdetective.com
Now online: Our December issue. The Thrillies. Christmas Gifts. New fiction. And Tim Broderick's ODD JOBS. -- # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 Dec 2000 EST