Re: RARA-AVIS: Invented cities/ Darkness take my hand

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 09 Nov 2001

Carrie Pruett wrote commenting on my massage,

  A nice solution to the problems he ran into with the Dorchester
> books, where he's admitted that he writes more about the neighborhood of
> youth than the way it is today

He is right I don't think big American cities remain static. My father and mother grew up in Dorchester/Roxbury early last century. At that time part of it it was heavily Jewish and most of the rest was Irish. Now it is mainly African American with a a very smll Irish section remaining. .

> re: the above, Lehane definitely plays looser with geography than some
> writers; .
> In the case of "Bryce," I assume Lehane didn't want to mention a real
> college because there are some rather nasty goings on at the campus, I
> recall. There are enough small colleges in the Boston area that it
> basically feels right, though.

In A Drink Before the War he apologizes for playing fast and loose with Boston geography. This just bugged me because I know that part of the area so well. I don't think we will be seeing tours of Lehane's Boston in the future.

> Yeah, this is a pretty glaring inconsistency. He could clear it up but I
> don't think he ever does. I try to just block that bit of backstory out
> my mind, atrick having been married to Angie's sis is just ooky

'ooky'? - I tried to not mention that because it has an impact when you first read it. until you think about it. I do think his editor should have caught it.
> AFAIC. Lehane's books often gives me the impression of several drafts
> being cobbled together .... I actually sort of enjoy the
> messiness of Lehane's books - gives a feeling of energy and spontaneity
> I like.

Maybe that's because you care most about character and plots are secondary. I like a more polished product. I have Sacred and will eventually read the whole series, but I don't feel any urgency to read them.

> but interesting gaffe in "Mystic" - the opening paragraph of the book is
> lovely riff on how Jimmy and Sean's fathers worked in a candy factory and
> because the smell permeated their homes, neither of them could stand

I wonder if he remembers Baker's Chocolate factory. When I was a kid when we would visit my grandfather in Dorchester we would pass it. You could smell the great aroma of the chocolate for blocks. He seems too young. Maybe he was told of it. . Mark

# 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 : 09 Nov 2001 EST