Re: RARA-AVIS: Various authors

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 21 Nov 2003

Doug wrote (snips): I like Aarons very much, but he is what he is. If you go into him thinking you're going to get depth on the level of Adam Hall's Quiller series or Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series, you're bound to be disappointed. Recent reads include Ellroy's BLACK DAHLIA (I remain mystified why this book has garnered so much praise);

************ I was not really put off by Aarons. Instinct tells me to go back and read one of the first in the series. I think the one I read was number 37.

There were several things I liked about Ellroy's BLACK DAHLIA. I thought the characters were layered and complex. I liked the way the dark side was portrayed.
 It wasn't just "the bad guys." It permeated almost everyone. I thought it superbly ironic that Bucky's struggle to bring the Dahlia's murderer to justice becomes an obsession that almost does him in. I liked the scenes. The story was compelling and spectacular.

My guess is that you were pretty much disgusted with the scumbag characters (including Bucky) and thought the plot sordid and trashy. I imagine the difference between your experience of the book and mine is empathy. You didn't give a damn and I did. Note that I'm not saying you should have felt different about the book. To each his own.


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