RE: RARA-AVIS: Four for The Fifties

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 02 Jan 2003

Ed Lynskey wrote: Speaking of the other "Charles the Great," BURNT ORANGE HERESY was IMO a ripe satire of the artsy-fartsy set. And there's one scene early in a Hoke Moseley novel had me laughing so hard I thought I'd need stitches. Maybe it was SHARK INFESTED CUSTARD. His humor reminds me of Harry Crews. I'll look for WILD WIVES.

******** It was hilarious and outrageous and absurd and totally believable. The idea of a framemaker who becomes a famous painter by hanging an empty frame over a crack in the wall is delightful. And the artists from the two schools of painting arguing about its interpretation was wickedly funny. Remember the discussion about whether it would have the same meaning if it hung somewhere else? BWAHAHA!

The book uses humor to launch a serious attack on the over- inflated self-importance of professional critics. The criticism is just as valid in the literary field. Ever read Harold Bloom?

I ordered the SHARK INFESTED CUSTARD but it got cancelled for some reason. But I'm not out of Willeford yet. I've got WOMAN CHASER, MIAMI BLUES (thanks, Bill Denton) and THE MACHINE IN WARD ELEVEN on the shelf. Of course I probably won't enjoy THE MACHINE since it's short stories. ;-)

I'm going to work on the TBR pile for about a month and then get the WRITING AND OTHER BLOOD SPORTS that Bill Denton mentioned, along with the Willeford biography. If Willeford was alive today I'd shake an angry index finger at him for not writing about all those exciting times that came after his first two autobiographies.


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