Re: RARA-AVIS: a few items and the short goodbye

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 20 Feb 2002

George wrote:

. But those who call Peckinpah's
> movie ending a copout should bear something in mind. In 1972, to have
> stone-killer couple ride happily off into the sunset without paying
> their sins was a very radical conceit. It just didn't happen in films
> until then (even those rebels Bonnie and Clyde, not to mention The
> Bunch--heroes to '60s counterculture audiences--had to buy it in an
> apocalyptic way). In its own way, for its own time, Peckinpah's
ending was
> almost as anarchic as Thompson's.

If this is a reference to my post on the topic I thought I'd mentioned, or at least inferred, that Peckinpah was probably not responsible for the alterations to Thompson's original story but that it was most likely a commercial decision made by the producers/money men ("suits"). I don't know that the date of the movie version is all that significant - the recent remake follows very much the template of the first movie version, rather than Thompson's novel. I certainly meant no disrespect to Peckinpah, a director whom I admire greatly (in case that wasn't clear in my original post).

George also wrote:

"Regarding all the negative comments on SUMMER OF FEAR, it might be helpful to note that Jeff Parker's first wife, Cat (to whom the book was dedicated) died of brain cancer during the writing of the novel. In the book
(which I reviewed for the Washington Post), Parker makes some interesting connections between serial killers and cancer, implying that these random murderers are both manifestations of the anti-Christ. I don't know how Parker found the guts to tackle the subject matter in SUMMER OF FEAR as his wife was dying."

Likewise, I meant no disrespect to Parker. I was completely unaware of any personal problems that he had & in fact the only thing I knew about him was the one novel of his I'd read, "Summer of Fear", of which I recall very little except that it didn't really float my boat. Although I empathise with his situation (my mother died of cancer & I spent her last night in the hospital room with her when she died, so I think I'm fairly sensitive about this issue) I don't really see this as being relevant to whether or not a book is a good read. In my own situation, I still had to earn a living & make my own way with no concessions being made on the basis of my own personal tragedy. That's just the way things are. I don't mean to make an issue of this but I feel we should be able to discuss books in a frank manner on this list without having to worry about the personal lives of the authors. It's fair enough to avoid slagging authors on a personal level but surely their books are fair game. (& as far as slagging went, I just said that it didn't do much for me. I think most people on this list are fairly aware of how difficult it is to write anything, let alone something good enough to publish).

Rene (who's getting off his soapbox now)

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