RE: RARA-AVIS: Gil Brewer

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 19 Aug 2002

Al said: I'm by no means an expert, Mike. But from what I have read, it seems Brewers novels fall loosely into two categories: those primarily influenced by Hammett and those primarily influenced by Cain. Of the former, A KILLER IS LOOSE - widely regarded as Brewer's best - is excellent. But if you want to read something that makes Brewer different from the majority of the GM stable, try 13 FRENCH STREET. Others to look out for: THREE-WAY SPLIT and THE RED SCARF. As for ones to skip? Gil Brewer? Skip? Fffff.... I suppose you'll be wanting to skip some David Goodis and Day Keene as well? And I thought you navy guys had stamina....

THE HUNGRY ONE is the only moderate disappointment I've had from Brewer, but there are a lot I haven't read.

*********** Thanks for the suggestions. I believe that 13 FRENCH STREET and RED SCARF are in print. I'll put that on my list. That darned A KILLER IS LOOSE is evidently a collector's item, be- cause it lists high dollar on Abebooks.

As far as skipping certain ones, I've read the Rabe and Thomp- son essays in MURDER OFF THE RACK, and it's comments on some of them being VERY bad has made me leery. I'm a really big fan of Hemingway, but I've never made it thru ACROSS THE RIVER AND INTO THE TREES, and I ain't losing no sleep over it, either. ;-) This is kind of off-topic, but are there any diseases you can pick up from reading bad books?


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