RE: RARA-AVIS: Vachss and the (perhaps) leftists: Ribic

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 05 May 2003

Todd wrote:

"And, I will admit, Vachss can write, and I'll be seeking SHELLA soon."

I certainly think Shella is well written and tight (I recommend it whenever I get a chance, along with many of his shorts), but you haven't read that yet. So I'm guessing you're talking about the Burke books. How exactly are you defining "can write"? His prose is very good, but the one Burke I read, Flood, really could have used a good editor. How many times did he need to repeat the feeding ritual for his dog, his entry into his apartment and that he was a loner, needed no one
(contradicted by his very loyal extended family-by-choice comprised of other similarly overblown characters)? This got very annoying to me and is why I never read another. Is good writing defined by individual sentences or the whole book they fill?

Todd again:

"TM, anarchist-sympathizer, . . ."

So you read The Invisibles?

". . . vigilante-nonfan (even though Batman was the best DC comics guy, yes, aside from the Specter, and I just enjoyed his horror connotations"

I'm not sure why, possibly because Neal Adams worked on both, but the mention of the Spectre (didn't DC use the Brit spelling?) reminded me that if Al is including comic books in his carny/circus bibliography, he should certainly include Deadman, another great DC comic. Although probably more in the horror/thriller vein than hardboiled, it had a Fugitive/who was the real murderer premise to it -- it was just the ghost of the victim doing the investigating. In a slight variation on the Fugitive connection, wasn't the only thing known about the killer that he had a hook for a hand?


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