Re: RARA-AVIS: How much Background?

From: William Denton (
Date: 12 May 2003

On 12 May 2003, Bludis Jack wrote:

: Do we care about the childhood of Phillp Marlowe,
: Sam Spade, Lew Archer, Travis McGee or even Mike
: Hammer?

If it meant more Chandler or Hammett, I would be. But usually I don't care on whit. The flashbacks in Dan J. Marlowe's THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEATH (or was is the second Earl Drake book?) were a real drag. I wished he'd handled the criminal anti-hero's background the way Donald Westlake did with Parker, who has none. Old heists may be mentioned, but nothing about how his pappy put down his favourite dog. George Pelecanos does a lengthy background in SHOEDOG, too, which was the first time a Pelecanos book has let me down.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : : Caveat lector.

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