RARA-AVIS: women readers/ sherlock & coke

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 02 May 2002

Sally wrote:
>peaking for myself and not all double-X's (I much
>prefer Crowe as Maximus and Spacey in LA Confidential,
>and no actress can hold a candle to Robyn Benincasa)
>but I read hardboiled because it's not BORING.

good for you, see what I mean about generalizations? who's Robyn Benincasa?

I think "liking books that aren't boring" is something that readers of every gender (no really, I was reading how there are actually like five genders depending on sexual preference and practice, since gender isn't the same as sex after all) can agree on.

For real, though, i just like writers who entertain me and stimulate my gray cells keep me interested. I don't have a particular prejudice or preference for hard boiled and in fact two of my very favorite mystery writers
(Reginald Hill and Elizabeth Peters) are anything but. But I have found that overall hard-boiled writers are more likely to write fun, fast-moving stories about compelling and contemporary (whether the book is set in the present or not) subjects, often about subjects that are absent not only from other types of crime fiction but from "serious" literature as well. Also it happens that when I first came to reading crime fiction seriously a few years ago, the writers I stumbled on were Ian Rankin and Dennis Lehane; I read interviews with them and sought out the writers that they recommended and of course their reading lists skewed toward the hard boiled but I have no complaints.

As for Sherlock's cocaine use, I recall that he discusses it extensively with Watson in one of the early stories - perhaps "Sign of the Four" as has been mentioned. Watson is rather disapproving but more in the way one would be of a habit that is a little unpleasant and unconventional than "oh my God my friend is a druggie".


He got thirty years for lovin' her/ from some Oklahoma governor,/ who said
"everything this doughboy does is wrong" - Tom Waits

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