RARA-AVIS: The better "Black"

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 03 Jan 2003

In a message dated 1/3/03 4:01:35 AM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

<< Woolrich reworked the theme of "murder to avenge the
 death of a loved one" in RENDEVOUS IN BLACK, but I
 thought it was brought off better in BRIDE. I also
 prefer it to PHANTOM LADY (written as by "William
 Irish"), which, with BRIDE, is possibly Woolrich's
 best-known novel.

Like horse races, a difference of opinions adds spice to the mix. I would rank "Bride" third in that group of novels. PHANTOM LADY was a remarkable novel for its time although not without flaws and lessened by the many imitations that followed. RENDEZVOUS IN BLACK is the best Woolrich I have read under any name. I can only assume that Woolrich felt the need to revisit the theme and structure of "Bride" again or he would not have bothered with "Rendezvous." Of course, a writer's view of his work is notoriously suspect and I do not say this as a trump card.

Again, differences of opinion make horse races and all three are worth searching out and reading.

Richard Moore

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