RARA-AVIS: Connelly and chronology

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 26 Feb 2001

Michael Connelly is in town today and tomorrow for signings, and a friend and I went up to today's event. The store was crowded, so we got out of the way and stood talking. When we looked around to see where the line would be, ten people had moved in behind us and we were at the head.

Connelly spoke for a few minutes first, then took a few questions. He was asked what writers he read, and he mentioned Mr. Pelecanos along with Dennis Lehane and James Lee Burke, but said he didn't read many American mystery writers, they were too close to his own work, and he rattled off the names of many of the British writers mentioned here. People were interested in that, but they didn't seem as interested when he stressed how important Chandler was too him, and that he reread Chandler's work every now and then. Connelly also said that after the book tour he was going to take some time (he already has his next book written) and reread all of Ross Macdonald's books in order. That's a big job.

I couldn't think of much to say when he signed my books, but did give him my card, told him about the list, and dropped Mr. Pelecanos' and Mr. Lankford's names. He said he knew about it, and wasn't on it but got some of the mail, so maybe someone's forwarding him some messages. I told him he had a lot of fans here.

His plan about rereading Macdonald twigged me to something I'd forgotten: a plan to try rereading all of Hammett's work in chronological order. With NIGHTMARE TOWN and all the other books and collections I don't think I'm missing too much of his fiction, and I thought going through it all but this time in the order it was written could be fun. Has anyone ever tried this? Now that so many writers work in series, this is a pretty standard way to go, but it's different when tackling a writer who wrote a lot before paperbacks took over.

By the way, it looks like www.miskatonic.org was unreachable for about five days, after a name server upgrade. Thanks to Ms. Esposito-Shea for reporting it. It's working now, so the archives are there again.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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