Re: RARA-AVIS: Someone who doesn't like Pelecanos

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 05 Jul 2004

Kerry wrote:

"Gregoritis and Moviano were generalizing of course, but they raised a valid question: Has the genre lost its edge?"

I'm not responding to the interview, because I haven't read it beyond the excerpts in people's responses, but that's a good question. I'm hard pressed to think of anything I've read recently that I would consider pushing the edge.

Of course, that begs the question of what constitutes the edge and pushing it. For instance, I recently read Greg Rucka's Critical Space. I absolutely agree with John Lau that it "totally blows up" the Atticus Kodiak series. So it pushes the edge within that context, but does it push the edge in terms of the overall genre? No, not at all. It is well within the genre's conventions. I hope I am sufficiently conveying that I don't think this is a bad thing. Critical Space was a great thriller and a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it (thanks, John, for reminding me to pick it up).

However, I do like to occasionally read something that balances, even overbalances, innovation with the overall conventions, not just a series within it. And I haven't really run across any of those lately. I guess the last that I read that would qualify was James Sallis. Now I agree with whoever said recently that pushing the edge just to push the edge can be just as boring as the most cliched PI novel. That's pretty much the reation I had to the couple of Steve Aylett's books I read. However, when it's built on substance and not just style (not that that can't be fun sometimes), it can really be something. For instance, I am really looking forward to the next by Jack O'Connell (anyone know when it's due?).

So, anyone got any reccomendations in this area?


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