Re: RARA-AVIS: "Red Harvest" and characterization

Date: 30 Oct 2001

    I think Juri is identifying a key bifurcation among hard-boiled readers and writers. There are some of us for whom mood and style and characterization are the essence of the book, and others who respond more strongly to well developed, tightly written storylines. Those who drift away from Leonard after the early books often do so because of the "weakness" of his stories, and others who find nothing to cheer about in the Parker books often complain about "flat characters whom no one can care about." Joe R. Lansdale's characters and his style are so marvelous that I'll be happy to take whatever storyline he hands me.
    I'm more of a character, mood and style man myself and that's why I stick with Elmore and why I love the Chandler books even more than those of Hammett
(and prefer Ellroy to Jim Thompson). It is possible to deliver on both fronts as writers like George P. demonstrates with each new book, but much of the time a writer is either plot heavy or character driven.
    Nevertheless, I also believe that too much character background info, ala
"Demolition Angel" can kill a book's value faster than a barrel full of
"thumbnailed" characters.

                                        Jim Blue

# 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 : 30 Oct 2001 EST