Re: RARA-AVIS: Da Booze

From: George Upper (
Date: 23 Jul 2001

--- Mario Taboada <> wrote:
> All three of these authors know alcohol intimately.
> I think
> Block quit, just like Scudder. Crumley declared that
> he
> comes from a family of heavy drinkers and that he
> continues
> the tradition.

Yes, Block quit drinking some time ago. Several of his other novels, of course, feature drinking, especially _Eight Million Ways to Die_, which is, along with _Sacred Ginmill_, one of my favorites.

I hate to keep bringing up Robert B. Parker, but Spenser can also be a pretty heavy hitter--_Looking for Rachel Wallace_ and _The Widening Gyre_ both feature "medicinal" or "theraputic" drinking, while
_Early Autumn_ clearly portrays alcohol as a rite of passage. (Please note that I only cite works from the first half of Parker's career...the half I like.)

Furthermore, I quote Stefan Dziemianowicz's 1993 introduction to _Tough Guys and Dangerous Dames_, an anthology I picked up a fews years ago from the Barnes
& Noble remainder tables:

"One of the more original [series detectives with personality quirks] was Hugh B. Cave's 80-proof detective, Peter Kane. A former cop, Kane epiomized the detective who was not immune to the snares of his vice-ridden environment, drinking his way through nine adventures written between 1934 and 1942. "The Brand of Kane" (1935) [included in the anthology] displays him at his wisecracking best, acting with more shrewdness and perspicacity while under the influence than any of his sober suspects." (p. xiii)


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