Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Parker criticism

From: Jeremiah Healy (
Date: 12 Nov 2001

I've been traveling, Bouchercon and thereafter, so I'm just catching up as this month's invited "author" participant. Some thoughts on the posts I've read:

        1) Robert B. Parker: If you want to compare Bob to Chandler, that's fine. But stop after seven books, which was Chandler's output. And many of Chandler's best novels (e.g., THE BIG SLEEP) were lifted from pulpy novellas he'd done in the 1930's. That Bob could produce four times Chandler's output, and still have loyal readers on one character, and new fans for two newer series characters is, I think, astonishing.

        2) Films: My favorite remains GET CARTER, the Michael Caine version, with scenes that American Codes would not let appear in theaters.

        3) Boston: The entire city is becoming gentrified, and a lot of the things about some ethnic neighborhoods that I wrote about in the 1980's and Dennis Lehane has more recently are probably more evocative than accurate. But, in my opinion, you have to be authentic only when you're trying to be authentic. And that allows for the creation of fictional, though evocative, towns so that the story can run the way you want it to. Among mine are YESTERDAY'S NEWS ("Nasharbor" as a cross between Fall River and New Bedford), RESCUE (a fictional "Mercy Key" in the Florida chain), and INVASION OF PRIVACY (a fictional "Plymouth Mills" to capture the sense of a South Shore town).



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