Re: RARA-AVIS: Work and Insobriety

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 15 Apr 2001

> *Nobody* writes about intoxication the way Crumley
> does. My favorite living hardboiled novelist.

I just read Rick DeMarinis' "Clod of Wayward Marl" (McMillan Pubs), which has a lead character, a crime writer teaching at a small college, based loosely on Crumley, I think. So the crime writer gets into a little murder mystery situation in academia. The bar crawling and alcohol induced spells of looniness are excellent. Nutso characters phasing in and out. Chalk it up: a "drunk noir" masterpiece. Plus, he gets all the dirt about English Departments right. That's always frightening to read about, since I'll be on the academic job hunt myself this December. I'll have to remember to have a few beers before the interviews to make everything seem normal.

Neil Smith

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