Re: RARA-AVIS: Gold Medal: Lament for a Virgin

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 08 Aug 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "James Reasoner" <>
>Didn't Westlake also
> write a book about real criminals using a fictional crime as the basis for
> caper? And to make the joke more convoluted, the fictional crime was from
> Richard Stark book?

I haven't read it, but I believe you're describing "Jimmy the Kid".

> I think one of Ed Gorman's articles about Gold Medal mentions that a
> White book was the first Gold Medal he ever bought. And the old man
> the candy store where Ed bought it said something like "Pretty racy stuff
> for a kid, ain't it?"

I once found a second hand bookshop where I was able to buy Gold Medals (a rarity, in this country). It was run by an American. Extremely helpful, very friendly, etc (he knew how much they were worth, too, sadly). He kept his GMs behind the counter, and when I suggested he might put them on display he claimed he couldn't do that, he was running a family bookshop.

> Not to disagree with Westlake about White's style, but I enjoy a book that
> gets on with what it's doing.

I find it hard to be objective about Lionel White. "The Money Trap" was the first book of it's type I ever read. But White does use words loosely. Westlake knows how to write (there's an excellent scene in "Killy" where he analyses a piece of hack journalism) and rarely writes a bad sentence. White's frequent redundant adverbs (deeply hated, softly murmured, etc) probably drove poor old Donald to distraction.


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