RARA-AVIS: when the sacred gin mill closes

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 09 Dec 2001


just finished _when the sacred gin mill closes_. moody, dark, and intense.

i thought lawrence block did a good job of drawing matthew scudder. it would have been easy to tip the scales too far and leave scudder coming off as nothing more than a pathetic bitter drunken ex-cop, and the book as not much more than a melodrama. but the more accurate description of scudder is apathetic, i think. he has a hard time feeling almost anything. he's numb. probably caused by an accidental shooting while on the force, and his separation from his wife and boys. and thats stacked on top of all the other stuff he's witnessed as a cop.

his salvation is the cases he takes on for his friends. thru them he seems to sort out and salvage some worthwhile feelings.

there were images in the book that reminded me of the
"world gone crazy" scenes in the movie _apocalypse now_
(based on conrad's heart of darkness), like the guys setting up the mortar and firing it into the river, or the transsexual in the church.

his frequent trips to church reminded me of jake barnes in _the sun also rises_. with both characters, i'm never sure whether they are just going thru the motions to preserve their sanity, or are true believers.



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