RARA-AVIS: Re: Estleman on Ridley's The Drift

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 30 Dec 2002

Mark passed on Loren Estleman's review of Ridley's latest:

>"'The Drift' is the kind of book Chester Himes might have written but
>for censorship. John Ridley declares his own independence from today's
>repressive left through free use of the dreaded N-word and the stoicism
>that [main character] Charlie shows in the face of hate. He bids fair
>to become the Ralph Ellison of the postmodern hardboiled novel."

Huh? Today's repressive left? What on earth is Loren going on about, now? Using the word "nigger" hardly seems that liberating or brave or even rare in this day and age, either in print or film or even, increasingly, on television. (See the collected work of Pelecanos, Ellroy, Tarantino, Spike Lee, HBO, Fox, etc.)

I thought the "repressive left" controlled the media? (I actually heard this on Limbaugh's radio show so it must true...). And maybe I'm not remembering correctly, but didn't Himes himself use the word frequently?

Where's the full review? Is it online? I'd love to read it. I like what I've read (and seen) of Ridley.

And Mark added:

>Ridley also wrote the screenplay (honestly, although the book was
>released first, I'm not sure which came first, the novel or the
>screenplay). Supposedly Stone kicked him off the set of the film.

Gee, another reason to like Ridley.


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