RARA-AVIS: Burglar/Scudder

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 13 Aug 2001

Mark Sullivan wrote:
>Carrie, if you felt Block's Burglar was too cute (can't argue with >that),
>you've gotta read more Scudder. The early ones, like Sins of >the Father,
>are okay, but the reaches its stride with Eight Million >Ways to Die. That,
>along with When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, are as >good as the contemporary
>PI novel gets.

Thanks for the tip. Is there a big advantage to reading the series in order, or should I skip straight to "Eight Million"? I'm not a read-in-order fanatic, and some of these are hard to find.

Forgot to mention Jeremiah Healy/Cuddy as one I've read and liked recently.

I think the point when I threw the "Burglar" book was when the narrator made some pun on the word "dyke" in reference to Bernie's lesbian friend; something about the littleDutch boy putting his finger in, etc - I wasn't so much offended as pained by the pun. Though I really like the extensive word play in the Keller books - it seems to go with Keller's methodical personality and doesn't feel like something imposed by the author. When I started reading Dortmunder, I realized that's what I expected the Bernie books to feel like. Nothing wrong with the various series being different, and I suppose that's one of the reasons both Westlake and Block write so many different series, each with a different "feel."

Though I'm enjoying Westlake's lighter books so far, which of the "dark" ones would you recommend? I remember reading an article in GQ, I think, a few years back arguing that Leonard and Block had both gotten softer as time went on but Westlake had kept his edge. Can't remember what specific books were referenced, and I've really never been able to do Leonard at all - again probably starting with the wrong books. I tried "Cat Chaser" and "Get Shorty," and though I appreciated the quality of writing in both, neither story held my interest.

recommendations appreciated as always, Carrie

"Is that what you do for a living?" she asked. "Find folks?"
"Sometimes," I said. "Other times I just look."
-James Crumley, "The Last Good Kiss"

_________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp

# 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 : 13 Aug 2001 EDT