RARA-AVIS: The last days of theme of the month - Los Angeles

From: M Blumenthal ( blumenidiot@21stcentury.net)
Date: 28 Sep 2001

I've read a few Los Angeles novels this month. A brief account -

BE COOL Leonard's sequel to GET SHORTY. Instead of movies it's about popular. About halfway through it seems to lose its way. I think Leonard easily could have cut a third of it especially the parts including Aerosmith.

   It's a stand alone and as much a thriller as hard boiled. It seems like cross of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and one of Michael Connelly's Bosch novels. I liked it, but it almost seems seems to have been written so it could easily be translated into a movie.

BLACK ICE Michael Connely's second Bosch novel..Again Bosch has to fight his superiors to solve the mystery. There is one passage that almost summarizes Los Angeles in many hard boiled books:

"You could be riding in in the back of a studio's limo or just as easily the back of a coroner's blue van. The sound of applause wa the same as the buzz of a bullet spinning past your ear in te dark. That randomness. That was L.A"

It continues to touch on the concerns of the more recent books:

"There was a flsh flood, earthquake, mudslide. There was the drive by shooter and the crack stoked burglar. The drunk driver and the always curving road ahead."

There's more, but I think this gives enough to give the flavor of the whole passage.Connelly is not always conventionally grammatical, but very powerful. I'm late in discovering him, but I will be catching up..

ALICE IN LA-LA LAND I mentioned I was reading this. It's the second of Robert Campbell's explorations of the underside of Los Angeles. I don't think it holds together as well as the first, IN LA-LAND WE TRUST. It could be that Campbell's series declined as he went on because he felt it necessary to always have the following books include characters and situations he established originally and became tired of them. I guess the business pays off to write series, but I think Campbell might have written better books if they were stand alones. Mark

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