From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 06 Oct 2003

As some of you know, over the last few months I've been trying to read as many authors new to me as possible. I have not been obsessive about it though, and have gone back to read more Packer, Chandler, Hammett, and Charles Williams. I even repeated Graham Greene and Nathanael West. And I reread some old favorites, like Puzo, Hemingway, and Pinckney Benedict.

The one author I can't seem to get away from is Charles Willeford. I read THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY before I started on the "new to me" author binge, but I've found myself coming back to him and reading WILD WIVES, MIAMI BLUES, his essays in WRITING AND OTHER BLOOD SPORTS, and now COCKFIGHTER. I can't recall who, but I think it was Mario who said that COCKFIGHTER was his favorite. I loved it. I think THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY is still my favorite, but COCKFIGHTER is a lot of fun. It's quite a bit different than the other novels I've read of his. The book is definitely more upbeat. He uses cockfighting as an allegory for life.

Willeford is brilliant.

Incidentally, since I embarked on the new author tour, I've kept track of them. I'm approaching the 100 mark. It's been a great trip.


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