Re: RARA-AVIS: Question for Mr. Sallis

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 23 Feb 2004

David wrote:

"I like your stuff a lot too, Jim, although I must confess I read them all back-to-back in a two-week-long debauch a while back, after which I spent a few months reading some of the names you'd dropped."

I've read the series over the years, starting with Long-Legged Fly when it came out as a MASS paperback. And I must admit that it sometimes takes a bit for me to place some of the references to events in past books in Ghost of a Flea. However, I have enjoyed the series so much that I intend to go back through it again to fill in those blanks and draw it all together (and, as obnoxious as I am, pick out inconsistencies), though maybe not back-to-back. I have the feeling I'll end up appreciating one of my favorite series even more.

"This may be part of the appeal of your stuff for me, working as a readers' advisor in a library - I love those associative links..."

I also enjoy the allusions. However, they raise a couple of questions from me for Jim -- are all of the sources public domain? Otherwise, the acknowledgement and/or permission to quote pages would be almost as long as the book itself.

Also, given how careful you are to credit most of the quotes and references, why do you choose to make just a few of your allusions illusive? For instance, "I'd been listening to Mahler's Ninth, reading a novel set in Washington by some guy with a Greek name, . . ." Gee, whoever could that be?

Oh, is the "new publishing house in Scotland, run by a bunch of kids, .
. . but they seem to know what they're doing" a reference to Canongate Books? Are they Jim Sallis's publisher in the UK as well as Lew Griffin's?


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