Re: RARA-AVIS: The Resurgence of the Spy Story

From: Randy Schultz (
Date: 13 Jun 2002

On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 07:03:01 -0700 (PDT) Mario Taboada
<> writes:
> <<Question: If espionage is suddenly back in favor, why is
> Donald Hamilton having such a hard time selling the latest
> (and most likely last) Matt Helm novel?>>
> Probably the author has outlived his own fame. I am sure he
> hasn't forgotten how to write. In this country, memory is
> very short.

It also has something to do with the decline of the paperback original market. In the May issue of Booklist magazine there is an *excellent* article on the Matt Helm books, and the publishing issues around them. It is written by Frank Sennett and is well worth purchasing if you are a Helm fan.

I'm with you. I stumbled across Helm just last year and am amazed at the well-written, muscular tone of the books. There's just no fat to them at all. It really goes to show you that great fiction doesn't need flowery language and long words. Direct and to the point.


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