Re: RARA-AVIS: An ignoramus enquires....

Date: 24 Oct 2001


Re your comment below:

> Pursuing my current mad project of investigating all
> my personal 20th
> century crime writing gaps, I recently bought a 2nd
> hand paperback of an
> old 87th Precinct novel called - wait a minute while
> I look in the waste
> paper basket - Cop Hater (1956). A long time ago,
> admittedly. I believe
> that the author went on to write a number of others,
> and that a lot of
> people liked them??
> Is or was Ed McBain a real person, or a syndicate?
> As the series
> continued, did the books become more
> interesting/less adolescent? Could
> some enthusiast here suggest a probably-more-recent
> title which I could
> try without being assured of groaning repeatedly and
> falling asleep in
> Chapter 6, right in the middle of the unconvincing
> sex scene?

If you don't like COP HATER (the first book in the series), I don't think you'll like any of the others. I've enjoyed every single one immensely, but I find that there's a freshness in the first few books in the series that waned as the series progressed.

My personal favorite is THE HECKLER, which introduced the recurring "Deaf Man" character. Perhaps the only real successful merging of two of my favorite mystery themes, the realistic cop novel (which, it could reasonably be argued, McBain invented), the the
"super-criminal" Professor Moriarty/Fu Manchu character.

There's very little I can find to criticize about McBain. I think he's a great stylist. His portrayal of the city has been called the best sustained literary depiction of NYC ever written
(notwithstanding his insistence that he's not writing about NYC at all). He plots well. He's a great storyteller (not the same thing). His characters are compelling and believable. And his dialog is great.

If your reaction was as negative as you indicate, then nothing I say here will convince you. I also think Catholicism is the True Faith, but I don't make a point of proselytizing.

Let's just agree to disagree.


__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Make a great connection at Yahoo! Personals.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Oct 2001 EDT