Re: RARA-AVIS: Westlake as Coe and Block as Block

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 08 Oct 2001

I'm with Jim on the similarity between Block's Matt Scudder and Coe's Mitch Tobin, although I came at it from the other direction, having read some Scudders first. And I recently found out that Curt Cannon precursed them both as a reluctant and heavy drinking investigator.

As for the similarity between Tobin and Parker, I don't see it. The two series are written in a similar style, the two characters may even live in the same world, but Tobin is motivated by guilt. Actually, that should be "not motivated," as he only wants to be left alone to wallow in his guilt and build his wall. This withdrawal links him to another Block (actually Kavanagh) character, the narrator of Such Men Are Dangerous, with his credo: "Do Nothing." However, Kavanagh is amoral like Parker. Neither would know what guilt feels like.


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