RARA-AVIS: 1960s: No acid freakouts?

From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
Date: 05 Feb 2003

Bill Denton writes:

<< It got me thinking about how hardboiled and noir
 writing went through the sixties and into the seventies....I haven't read
 Westlake's non-Parker books from that time, but as Richard Stark he wasn't
 having Parker protest anything or get mellow. >>

In a late first phase Stark/Parker book -- Deadly Edge (1971), I think -- the job goes sour because one of the crew's nephews or the nephew's friend or some such is taking too much acid. I think the pair want to hijack the job for drug money. So, to the extent that there's a moral order in Parker's world, the druggies are the bad guys (and they're stupid). If I recall correctly, the drug stuff is handled at about the same level as the infamous blue boy (acid freak) Dragnet episode. The plot of Max Byrd's California Thriller (which I think was published in the early 1980s) smacks of

[could be a mild spoiler]

the 1970s with a conspiratorial plot that involves mind control through a drug in the water or air. I like that book, but in same ways it feels more dated than many earlier titles. My guess is that this feeling has more to do with U.S. history/national character than Byrd's prose (if that makes any sense).

Soon to be reundelurked, Doug

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