Re: RARA-AVIS: a damn good kiss

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 06 Jun 2002

miker wrote:

> many moons ago i read a book by anne rice, a prominent contemporary
> horror writer. the narrative stated that a girl is charmed by a
> witty and wise conversation with some guy (i think the book was _the
> mummy_). i remember getting a bad feeling about that right off the
> bat. my feeling was, "tell me what he said and i'll decide for
> myself." i got the distinct feeling that she wasn't capable of
> writing it and was sidestepping the real work.

Show, don't tell. Isn't that supposed to be one of the cardinal rules of good writing?

> i've only
> read chandler's _big sleep_, and i hesitate (not really) to dis
> the master, but i'd say that crumley does a better job with women
> than chandler. rosie, catherine, betty sue, and even trahearne's
> mother come thru as distinct and believable and more convincing
> characters than either of the sternwood sisters.

As wonderful a writer as Chandler was, like most of my favourite writers, he was extremely flawed - and his portrayal of female characters would have to be one of his greatest flaws. This is not at all unusual amongst the HB writers both of his time &, perhaps to a lesser extent, many of the HB writers of the 1950's also.


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