RE: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled/Noir Commentary and Criticism

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 05 Aug 2002

i said: "They've got Fly and Moth together in one book."

mark said: So how does this fit into your plan of one book per author? Do you get to read both, since they're between the same covers or must you set it aside after reading Fly?

********** Before I found the rara-avis list, I found books to read by simply wandering up and down the aisles of the local bookstore and looking at the front cover and if it caught my eye, the blurb on the back cover. Mostly I would haunt the science fiction and mystery sections, but I'm not shy about reading fiction outside these genres or non-fiction. The bottom line is that finding a good author was a hit- or-miss operation. So when I found someone I liked, I bought every book they wrote and pretty much worked my way thru them. I did that with James Ellroy, Michael Connelly, Martin Cruz Smith, and quite a few others.

But the rara-avis list has changed that. The exposure to new authors has been hot and heavy. Although I have whined a bit about having some tried-and-true authors' books on the shelf waiting on me, the decision to hit a bunch of new authors has been totally satisfying. I think that the di- verse sampling that it gives me serves to enrich each new one I read.

So, in answer to your question, I will probably not have a problem with reading the first Sallis and waiting for a while to read the next. I believe that I will take a break after this twenty and read some authors I'm already ac- quainted with, such as Willeford's _Cockfighter_, Gores
_Dead Man_, Charles Williams's _Dead Calm_, Westlake's _The Ax_, J.D. MacDonald's _The Executioners_, Faulkner's _Sanc- tuary_ or _Light in August_, McCarthy's _Child of God_ or
_Suttree_, and the Connelly and Pelecanos novels that I've mentioned in an earlier post. Then I think I'll go back and see about knocking off another 20 new authors.



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