RARA-AVIS: A Hell of a Woman

From: Paul Miller ( phm@midsouth.rr.com)
Date: 25 Feb 2002

This was in Rodney Welch's review of Savage Art. I guess It's time to re-read A Hell of a Woman. I also read that it was a re-work of Crime and Punishment?------------------------

Frank Dillon in A Hell of a Woman (Thompson's true magnum opus) has it equally bad as he sees it, his whole life has been squandered on one bitch after another, so much so that all women become a blur. But just as they are crowding into one person, Frank is turning into two; halfway through the book he creates a new persona, and by the end he's talking out of both sides of his mouth.
 The text splits into lines of alternating type, so that we actually read two stories at once, both of which end with Frank getting desexed. (It's the literary equivalent of what the Velvet Underground would do years later with their song "The Murder Mystery," which makes the left and right stereo speakers sound like they're arguing.)

Paul Miller

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