Re: RARA-AVIS: Woodrell and Prather

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 18 Jun 2003

Donna, welcome to the zoo, forum.

You observe that:

<<How he has all the energy for all that fighting and sex I don't know. Anyone else would be in hospital on a glucose drip after about 5 pages.>>

I don't think Prather ever looked at the Kinsey report -- the Average American Male is or was (charitably) a two-minuter, hardly enough time for the Average American Female to even notice him or it --, or if he did know about it, he decided to keep up the fantasy. So Scott is always ready, always willing, and so are the tomatoes. It's a Wodehousian paradise...

In our own time, Robert Parker perpetuates the ludicrous myths about the potency of the AAM. But women have always known. Susan Silverman has to know and I'm sure Hawk knows.

You are right in taking Prather as comedy. His exageration is at the core of his charm. My impression is that Shell Scott doesn't take himself all that seriously, and that in his authorial voice, Prather imagines that he is sitting at a bar with a bunch of AAMs, telling him about his exploits.

His fiction is exagerated without being exploitive. Because of his underlying irony, his fantasies are harmless. Whether they were harmless in their day, I cannot say. I doubt that Spillane's brutal exercises were harmless, for example.



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