RARA-AVIS: Comic Booky

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 30 Jul 2001

I just finished Greg Rucka's Finder. I liked it a lot, so please don't take the following comments as criticism, I mean them more as classification.

Kevin recently commented that some felt Rucka's Shooting at Midnight was comic booky. He felt it was "just good pulpy."

Well, I'm not sure I want to try to distinguish between those two, but Rucka's world is some sort of heightened reality that does not quite intersect with the everyday world.

For instance, the ambush in New York took place in a real place where I've been and was built on a real world situation (the shift from two-way to one-way traffic on Third Avenue). So I could picture it very clearly. However, I got no sense that this was happening in the real world. Even though a big point is later made about Yossi's ammunition being training rounds which would not put innocent bystanders at risk, I had not previously gotten the feeling that any were. The action is presented in such a way that you are there, but with the bodyguards, Atticus in particular (it is a first person narrative, after all), not as a witness on the street. Even the cops' few comments about Atticus being a cowboy, causing shootouts on their streets come off as lip service.

However, there is never any "collateral damage," not even at the hands of the bad guys. There never even seems to be a possibilty that there might be, not even when there is live gunfire, not to mention stun grenades and tear gas, going off during extractions in residential buildings. Perhaps this is because everyone, on both sides of the law
(three sides? many characters float somewhere between legal and illegal), is a professional. As professional warriors, they do not even recognize anyone else. No one else even exists in their world.

Perhaps it's the first person (and the knowledge of later books in the series), so you know he will ultimately survive, but even Atticus's multiple injuries don't seem too worrisome. Isn't it part of the genre that the hero takes a licking, but keeps on ticking? This goes for the emotional wounds, as well.

I guess it all boils down to the characters being larger than life and viewed from the distance of the real world. You are never immersed, much less lost, in this world, as opposed to, say, Jack O'Connell's world, where you feel you are living in Quinsigamond (sp?).

Still, for a fast and furious comic booky/pulpy read, Rucka's a good choice.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Jul 2001 EDT