RARA-AVIS: Willeford's "The Difference"

From: Paul Farrell ( pm_farrell@hotmail.com)
Date: 20 May 2002

>- ----- Original Message -----
>From: "Mario Taboada" < matrxtech@yahoo.com>
> > If you can find a copy of Cockfighter, I highly recommend
> > it. I must have read that book three or four times. It's
> > hypnotic.
>It's currently in print, published by No Exit as part of their Charles
>Willeford Omnibus, which also contains one of the best noir novels ever,
>"Pick-Up". Which reminds me, has anyone read "The Difference"? Canongate
>reprinted it last year and, like practically every other book on their
>list, I bought a copy. Still haven't got round to reading it, though. If
>only you could buy the time to read....
>Al Guthrie

I read "The Difference" a while ago. It's fairly short, and definitely worthwhile. Not in the same league as "Cockfighter", but still vintage Willeford. It's a Western set in the late 19th century that focuses on a young outlaw who gets involved in a family feud. The cross between Western and noir works very well. Genre mixtures like this are often interesting. I've been reading Alfred Bester's "Demolished Man" (from 1953), and so far it's shaping up to be a good mixture of the hardboiled detective story with science fiction.

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