Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Dr. Smith

From: William Hagen (
Date: 09 Mar 2002

As another one of the old timers on the list, mostly lurking nowadays, I would second John Lau's comments re Paul's critical remarks on Shame the Devil. I believe somewhere back in the archives you'll find people discriminating among Pelecano's titles.

As is the case for many, Big Blowdown was the one that turned me into a fan.
  But I saw it as a hybrid: family saga with crime. It definitely helped that Pelecanos was writing about the city I grew up near, setting his novels in decades when I lived there, and getting the music and sports right.

Personally, I find Shoedog and King Suckerman--along with the frequently mentioned Sweet Forever--to have the most satisfying plot structures. But as soon as I say that, incredible scenes from other novels come to mind, along with minor characters that just seem right.

Since the subject heading refers to our newest Doctor, I must ask whether any of the stories in his creative disser. were the sort that the Birds here would find interesting. (IE do disser. committees let one do good crime fiction these days?) Oh, congrats of course...

Bill Hagen

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