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

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 05 Jul 2004

--- "Kerry J. Schooley" <> wrote:
> And they talk about a market that wants the
> atmosphere of the genre, but is
> frightened by things like the word "fuck" or, for
> that matter, moral
> uncertainty. Is that a description that could be
> applied to Rara Avis
> discussions of late, and the underlying striving for
> literary acceptance?
> Gregoritis and Moviano were generalizing of course,
> but they raised a valid
> question: Has the genre lost its edge?

I've been a fan of this genre for at least twenty years now, ever since I stumbled across a copy of THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE in my local library as a teenager. And I can honestly say the genre's in the best shape it's been in years, far better shape than its nadir in the Eighties. Credible authors like Pelecanos and Lehane are pushing towards mainstream acceptance while there's a credible small press coming to fruition.

The assumptions behind your question "has the genre lost its edge" are fascinating. To begin with, does the genre need an "edge" to be successful?

I'm not sure what you're criticizing about the discussions here: I've been on this list since the late nineties and the quality of the discussions have remained consistently high. Elucidate?

I read the interview and thought it was pretty dumb, but not something to get worked up over.


Last read: IT'S NOT A PRETTY SIGHT, by Gar Anthony Haywood. Cleanly plotted, but the storytelling's pretty hamhanded: I'm not an unqualified admirer of Mosley's but he's far better than this.

===== Doug Bassett

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