RARA-AVIS: Re: Ken Bruen

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 28 Jul 2003

In a message dated 7/28/03 3:34:22 PM Eastern Daylight Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

 Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 09:11:17 +0100
 From: "Al Guthrie" < allanguthrie@ukonline.co.uk>
 Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Ken Bruen
 - ----- Original Message -----
 From: "Donna" < donna.moore@virgin.net>
> He has another series set in London which is also apparently very
> hard-boiled (I have them but not read them as yet), and he's labelled as
> Brit-noir.
 Definitely shouldn't be. He's Irish. About as British as Joyce or Yeats.
 Bruen knows noir first hand. Here's the intro to a recent interview with
 "You're a teacher, for Christ's sake, taking a drink in a pub in Rio de
  It's 1979: You're over there to teach presumably grateful Brazilians to
 speak English.
 A fight breaks out.
 You and every other European in the joint are rounded up and jailed.
 Bad enough, but your captors are sadistic whack-jobs:
 They shove your head into buckets of excrement and rape you.
 You slide into a self-described state of "catatonia."
 Your captors hold onto you for several months. Half-a-year later you emerge
 from the Brazilian jail, dangerously skinny and vaguely suicidal. Upon
 reflection, you decide not to take yourself out - why let them win? (Your
 fellow European inmates seemingly lack your determination for survival and
 soon die or go missing.)
 Where do you go from there?"
 The rest of the interview is available at:
 Al >>

Thanks Al. I read the entire interview and found it of interest because I so completely detested the opening novel in his "trilogy." The police characters were unrealistic in the extreme and somehow managed to be both uninteresting and disgusting. This really is quite a trick. Normally a character who is completely without redeeming qualities will be of some interest even if it is in fascinated disgust as is sometimes achieved in Harry Crews novels, a favorite of mine. Knowing now that he was falsely imprisoned and raped by the Brazilian police in 1979, helps me to understand his point of view. I may even sample another chapter by him at some time in the future. Well...I'm not positive of that last point.

Richard Moore

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