RARA-AVIS: Re: Da Booze, Da Horse

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 24 Jul 2001

I'm with Mark. For booze-soaked screwball tales, Jonathan Latimer's Bill Crane novels are hard to top, if you can find them. Of course, they were written back when being drunk was considered funny. Still, the books provide a nice antidote to EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE and vice versa.

(And speaking of EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE, isn't that about the worst, most disappointing adaptation of a great hard-boiled novel ever committed to film? I saw it years ago and thought it reeked. I re-watched it just this weekend, and I've decided I was too generous originally. The video should bear the warning: "Watch only in a well-ventilated area.")

>By anybody's definition of both noir and hardboiled, this book (Greg
>Rucka's SHOOTING AT MIDNIGHT) is both, in spades. As soon as you
>finish whatever you happen to be reading, each and every one of you
>on the list should pick up this book and try and put it down.

And I'm with John, too. I really dug SHOOTING AT MIDNIGHT, prologue and all. A lot of people felt the book was too over-the-top, too comic- booky, but I thought the opening salvo, with the fast-forward account of Logan's life, sets it all up so well that I couldn't help but enjoy the ride. I found it not so much comic-booky, as just good old pulpy.

Not that Rucka couldn't make it comic-booky if he really wanted to. He's written several graphic novels, and he's currently writing the Batman continuity in Detective Comics. In fact, he's introduced a female bodyguard character (assigned to Bruce Wayne, against his wishes) who'd be right at home in his novels.

>Logan's struggle is such that she actually disappears in the middle section of
>the book and Kodiak takes over the narrative as he tries to find her.

It's interesting to note that Amazon.com's Number One reviewer refers to Kodiak as making a "brief appearance" in this book. Which sorta puts into perspective the worthiness of some of those reviews.

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