From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 17 Feb 2002

I'd like to thank everyone for all the terrific info about Cook/Raymond, he is someone about whom I have not seen a lot of stuff about. I'd love to get hold of "The Hidden Files" (as well as several of the "Factory" novels).
 I read an interview with Raymond not too long before his death. On the topic of influences he again mentions writers such as Camus, Dostoyevski
& Kafka. The interviewer (who I've just discovered was Paul Duncan, Rare-Bird) asks him if the reason that he just mentions "pulp" authors like Thompson & Goodis in "The Hidden Files" is that he didn't think very much of them. Raymond says the opposite is true, that he thought so highly of them that to do them justice would blow the page count too much. I know a lot of people in this list can't get into his writing & I can understand why but I find his stuff riveting. Unlike almost everything that I read, this doesn't take me out of myself, reading a book like watching a movie, where no matter how horrendous the actions in book/movie, essentially it's entertainment. Raymond's books don't do that - they confront you with violence, pain & suffering & dare you to look at it without frills & comforting devices such as humour or a heroic protagonist who will make most things right again by the final page. In Raymond's books all the ugliness & pointlessness & horror of extreme violence is shown as is & I can see why people don't want to have their noses rubbed in it. To me it's like not being able to look away from a road accident.Raymond's books (the 3 I've read) both horrify
& move me & that's a rare combination in fiction, IMO. By the by, as I dig up old mag's to find these articles & interviews
(for a personal project) I'm discovering just how many rare-birds I have been reading stuff by or about for years. Since joining this list the world keeps getting smaller. PS is "The Hidden Files" in print, or about to be reprinted, does anyone know?


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