RARA-AVIS: Getaway

From: Paul Miller ( phm@midsouth.rr.com)
Date: 07 Mar 2002

 Well I have finally finished with my re-reading of Thompson's top tier works in a self assigned task "quest" to determine for myself his best work. Along the way in the enthusiastic wake after finishing one of his good ones I have been tempted to assign priority to this one or that one. Now that I am finished I can make a sober reasoned determination of best Thompson and I know some personel preference plays a part. When I began this quest "The Getaway" looked like "best" to me and now at the end of this re-reading it still does.

The Getaway begins with a bank robbery that puts Doc McCoy and his wife Carol to running across country. This flight of theirs makes up most of the book and the pace is unrelenting. Along the way they jump trains, steal cars, hide underwater in two caves and in a hollowed out manure pile. Doc and his wife will kill anyone who gets in their way. They are trying to get down to Mexico where a man called El Rey has a criminal sanctuary lying in a small coastal group of mountains... El Rey's kingdom is no utopia however. There is nothing but the best to be had and it all cost plenty. When your money runs out so does your luck you are taken to a little village to starve to death. It is a place of cross and double cross as people try to make their money stretch further. It's a waking nightmare for Doc and Carol. The last line has confused many readers, it comes from a quote about the Alamo. Santa Anna, coldly gazing at the piles of dead and wounded soldiers all about the Alamo mission, is said to have casually dismissed the siege as "a small affair," Following this comment, a senior commander is said to have replied....."And another such victory will ruin us."

And now on to other authors and readings re and otherwise.

Paul Miller

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