RARA-AVIS: shame the devil - Joy

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 16 Mar 2002

Joy wrote"
>Well, with the encouragement of this list, I read _Shame the Devil_ >while
>I had no e-mail for 2 weeks. The beginning is one of those >terrible setups
>where he introduces a bunch of likable people who are >doomed. It was so
>well written that I kept on reading anyway.

I actually liked the beginning and the setup - particularly the support group idea - better than the payoff. I also missed Marcus and Clarence as major characters (Clarence is my favorite part of "Suckerman" and "Forever," and Marcus is just cool) but I can see how they didn't really fit in this story.

>So question #1:
>Given that I noticed mention of names in this book that, according to >the
>reviews, seem to be protagonists in his new book, should I start >at the
>beginning of his writings and read forward, or is any old order >just fine?

are Strange and Quinn mentioned in "Devil"? I didn't notice but then the names wouldn't have meant anything at the time. Actually, it's the other way around. "Shame" the Devil is actually the culmination (for now anyway) of 2 different series: the Nick Stefanos books (A Firing Offense, Nick's Trip, and Down by the River where the dead men go are the previous ones) and the DC Quartet, with the Karras family as central characters (The Big Blowdown, King Suckerman, the Sweet forever, and Shame the Devil). Shoedog is a standalone; the hero supposedly shows up in a later book but if he did I didn't recognize him at the time. Right as Rain is supposed to mark more or less a new start and Hell to Pay (the current book) is a sequel to that one.

Pelecanos is apparently telling people on the current tour not to start with the first book (A Firing Offense) because it sucks. (I'm not kidding). I'd respectfully disagree, it's not much of a mystery but it's a helluva read, with terrific characterizations. I found "Nick's Trip" relatively bland by comparison, though "Down by the River" is, IMO, the first one where all the element really came together.

the DC Quartet books probably should be read in order, though I wouldn't say it's vital to go back to the Nick books unless you just want to (personally I think they're wel worth it), but if you do these should also be read in order for maximum effect; Pelecanos weaves a lot of plot and character elements through his books, sometimes so subtly that you don't even realize they're there if you haven't read the previous books. I understand that Right as Rain and Hell to Pay are meant to stand on their own from previous books, though.

> #2: There's one paragraph in this book that's utter nonsense, total
>baloney, and I have anecdotes to prove it. Anybody else know which one >I

Well, I've always said that the Metro "Doors Closing" announcement sounds more like "George Clooney" than "George Clinton" (and I swear that it sounds much more distinct when I've ridden it for the past year or so, maybe Pelecanos embarassed them into reform :)

seriously, what's the paragraph?


_________________________________________________________________ Join the world's largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail. http://www.hotmail.com

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 Mar 2002 EST