Re: RARA-AVIS: EDWARD ANDERSON & Crime Time magazine

Date: 27 Nov 2002

In a message dated 11/26/2002 12:43:04 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> Crime Time appears to be the kind
> of magazine that would appeal to many here. Woody Haut
> writes
> about Edward Anderson (THIEVES LIKE US).

I just finished THIEVES LIKE US, after reading THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, and THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY?, and found Anderson's tale of bank robbers in the depression southwest to be compelling. It wasn't as "hard to put down" as the Cain or the McCoy, and it seemed more "dated" than those two, but it still was a good read. One of the things I look for in any fiction is the ability of the author to make me care about what happens to the characters, and Anderson did well at this, making Bowie a sympathetic focus of the novel. It was easy to understand his motivations and actions.

Regarding the dated or 1930's feel to the novel, I don't always view this as a negative, and certainly didn't in this case. The 1930's era has always been of supreme interest to me, both because I used to teach high school history and because my parents and grandparents used to always tell such interesting stories of the time and place. It's probably not beyond the realm of possibility that some of my ancestors might not have gone the THIEVES LIKE US route to survive. Which is partly Anderson's point, I think. The overwhelming bad times of the Great Depression seems to have produced a large number of writers who could sympathize with the downtrodden and the underdog and even the criminal.

My own take is a little more to the right of these 1930's guys, but then had I lived through those times I would probably have viewed the world in a manner similar to theirs. Interestingly enough, the brief biography on Anderson at the back of Library of America's CRIME NOVELS OF THE 30'S AND 40'S mentions that at the end of his life he "espoused extreme right wing political views, along with religious beliefs based on Swedenborgianism". I am unaware of the term, can anyone enlighten me? Steven (off to search engine for "Swedenborgianism")

Regarding the Anderson article, how do I get in touch with Crime Time to order a copy? If this has already been mentioned on the list I apologize.


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