Todd Mason wrote <snipped>: Well, Mike, I have a
problem with the notion of
"genre" vs. non-genre writers, but Lethem has written other fiction which at least rubs up against cf, GUN, WITH OCCASIONAL MUSIC being the most obvious example...
I've been meaning to get to Frazier for years, but get the
impression he's more pretentious than Lethem, whom I'd
definitely refer to as ambitious, instead.
************ Thanks for the comments, Todd. I ordered his GUN
book immediately. As you undoubtably know, I meant nothing
demeaning by the phrase "genre." To me it just means a fairly
well-established kind of literary work, like mystery or
science fiction. I leave it to others to rank genre fiction
as lower than the sump pump in a gopher's basement.
Speaking of genre, Frazier's COLD MOUNTAIN could probably get
an award for all the genre it skirts. Civil war genre is an
obvious choice, but there aren't any battle scenes. Romance
is another, but no "true" romance reader would call it that.
It's hardboiled though. Down to the core. It reads like a
beautiful sad song.
After a suitable period of rumination, I think the similarity
between Frazier's and Lethem's books is that they both
involve socially awkward protagonists in a seemingly typical
setting that turns out to be sorta bizarre.
Both authors muddle the task of the genre-sorter with these
And, Bill, thank you for the Boucher link!
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