Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Dr. Smith

From: Kerry (
Date: 09 Mar 2002

At 10:52 AM 3/9/02 -0600, you wrote:
>George Upper wrote:
>about Pelecanos.
>I don't understand how anyone can find the characters
>in SHAME THE DEVIL anything but
>Well I'm feeling mightly lonely out here in seeing flaws in Pelecanos. I
>kinda feel like I stepped into the middle of a Pelecanos appreciation
>society meeting. I at least waited until he was off list before I mentioned
>anything critical of his work.

No, I thought your points interesting, in part because they were contrary to what's customarily voiced here, and in part because you explained what you found weak about the plot, and then defended your point, though you did back off a little.

I can recall only one response that actually addressed your point about the preparation for the pizza-parlour heist, and none that addressed your rebuttal. I wouldn't count saying that you are wrong and that the respondent is a more qualified authority, or that it's just a matter of opinion, as addressing your point. That's not up to the usual high level of debate here, IMHO, but maybe I missed something this time around.

Personally, I've read one Pelecanos, A Firing Offense. I liked his characterization. The people seemed real enough, having made or making difficult decisions in their uninspiring and corrupting jobs. I thought Pelecanos' style clean, clear and unobtrusive. But I too thought the plot weak. Minor characters were brought forward at the end, indicating to me that they were disposable, which I seem to recall they were.

I think I'll still read more of his work, but I found your comments helpful.

Thanks Kerry

------------------------------------------------------ Literary events Calendar (South Ont.) The evil men do lives after them

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