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

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 28 Sep 2001

My modest contributions to the LA month:

In La-La-Land We Trust, by Robert Campbell. This was a re-read. Disappointing, dated. Superficial treatment of the mastermind, a rich and influential pervert. Written more as a caricature than a hardboiled novel. Great idea (putting a head and its body together, literally and metaphorically) that gets lost in the folksy dialogue (I don't think criminal type use "fuck" and related words in between any two words) and bland episodes in New Orleans and LA. Ultimately tiresome, seemingly finished in a rush; this cadaver is a fun read, no more than that.

When I first read this novel, I enjoyed; revisiting it was not painful, but not much fun either. It's like (not that I would have direct experience of this, but I claim metaphoric license) having a fling with a former girlfriend and realizing that a lot of it was smoke and mirrors, that she's really quite ordinary.

Walter Mosley: Walkin' the Dog. A very great and very painful book. The protagonist, ex-con Socrates Fortlow, is as hardboiled as they come, yet the novel attempts, and succeeds at, much more than presenting a linear adventure with trouble; the tone here is much darker than in the Easy Rawlins books. There is some comic relief, beautifully integrated into the whole, but that's not the point. If you're squeamish or put off by relentless misery, be warned that this book can hurt you. A must read.





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