RARA-AVIS: Ken Bruen

From: T. Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 08 May 2004

I finished reading Ken Bruen's The Killing of the Tinkers last night and like his Edgar-nominated book, The Guards, it's full of references to authors, movies, TV shows and music. In trying to explain his inability to sustain relationships, former Irish guard Jack Taylor states near the end of the book, "I wanted to be able to get drunk when I wanted and read until dawn if I wanted and wasn't able to make the jump to forego such things for the sake of company."

Among the authors Taylor mentions are Chandler, Horace McCoy, Chester Himes, Jim Sallis, Jim Thompson, David Peace, John Straley, Ed McBain, Lawrence Block, Harry Crews, Jim Dodge and David Gates, whose novel Jernigan was the story of "my life if I had a formal education." What jumped out at me was Taylor's (Bruen's) reference on two occasions to Pellicanos (SIC). Because Bruen clearly is well-read, I wondered if the mispelling was some type of in-joke. Any ideas? By the way it's spelled Pelecanos in a blurb for The Guards on the back cover of the US edition of The Killing of the Tinkers. Also any comments on the novel?

Kent Morgan

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