From: K Montin ( kmontin@total.net)
Date: 08 May 2001

I read two Andrew Vachss novels in a row, Flood (his first) and Blue Belle
(the third, I think). I have to say that I enjoyed his band of friends above anything else in the books. They may have been put together as artfully as a focus group, but they are varied, entertaining, eccentric and certainly not overrepresented in the hb/thriller/mystery genre or any other. But will I read any more of his? After Flood the answer was yes. After Blue Belle, I'm not so sure.

Belle is an incredibly irritating "child-woman," always begging Burke to pinch her, spank her or let her service him sexually. Plus she says she loves him on about page three. He turns out to have a soft spot for her, yet is unwilling to satisfy her sexually. All right, but do they have to keep rehashing it all the time? Just so we know he's really a pig and she's an airhead desperate to be rescued? And do we have to hear about the disgusting state of his roof several times a book?

I don't find Vachss preaches on the issue of abused children, but he does paint the worst possible picture. Babies sold for their organs -- in New York City? Isn't that one of those legends that has never been substantiated, even in Third World countries?

Inconsistencies: Silent Max is Tibetan in Flood and Mongolian in Blue Belle. Burke's living quarters are accessible only through a window from the fire escape in Flood, but by Blue Belle there's a working door. Guess it got too tedious slogging through the rain etc. and scrambling through a window just to change his shirt.

Absurd: Strapping a grenade with the pin removed into his hand and going around like that all day, just in case he runs into a bad guy he might need to blow up. He'd lose his hand at the same time, but that's OK. The next day he didn't feel it was necessary anymore.

Karin Montin

# 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 : 08 May 2001 EDT