Re: RARA-AVIS: Wm Campbell Gault, etc.

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 10 Apr 2001

<<Glad to see Mario back too. I had begun to suspect foul play.>>

No foul play, just a lot of work (cozy, not hardboiled).

<<It just so happens that I was just finishing reading a book by a writer that he recommended: William Campbell Gault: "Vein of Violence," 1961; Brock "the Rock" Callahan is the PI. Interesting, but not great. First, for all of Callahan's toughness (an ex-pro football player), the novel is something of a parlor room thing of detection (someone murdered with poison at a party, etc.).>>

You're right. This series isn't really hardboiled. In fact, Callahan is an amateur detective.

<<This novel also seemed to wear its issues (or what are now more visible as issues) more heavily than "Day of the Ram" (which I guess it is fair to say is the most well-known Brock Callahan book):
(1) It deals with abortion; (2) homosexuality is a sign of evil (and not a red-herring of evil). At one point, the police consider holding a suspect for his sexuality
(on a morality charge). Callahan comes off a little sanctimonious. What are the better Gault's?>>

I like "Don't cry for me" very much. Gault's short stories
(the few I've read) are also very good. As to "issues", they are obviously dated. I do think that Gault was breaking new ground (think of how primitive the Spillane era was; sheer male fantasy), and what seems naive to us was pretty daring then; Gault appears far more humane and tolerant than most of his contemporaries. Ross Macdonald was, too, but he sounds like an academic, whereas Gault was more of a street-savvy guy, more in touch with real people.

<<What are the Joe Puma novels about (and were they reprinted recently)?>>

Not to my knowledge; in fact, they may *never* have been reprinted, at least in the US. That's a hardboiled series, with a detective who's not all that sanctimonious. In fact, he's Callahan's opposite. I recall those books as good, but haven't read one in years.



* Mario Taboada * *

"The world does not contain any information. It is as it is." I. Illich, _Tools for Conviviality_.

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 10 Apr 2001 EDT