From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 07 Jul 2004

>I read the book and I didn't like the movie either. I didn't buy the
>characterization -- for instance, Marcia Gay Harden's shift from backing
>her husband to selling him out just made no sense without a whole lot
>more background -- and I still can't believe that all of that EMOTING
>got praised as great acting (Bill Murray got robbed). I thought it was
>a classic example of a film that sacrificed depth of any kind by trying
>to retain too much plot.

Plus, didn't everyone else know exactly where the film was going almost right from the beginning?

I mean, I thought the acting was fine, but all that scenery chewing
(and all the "Look, look, I'm artistic!" camera work) was in service to a pretty obvious plot twist.

I haven't read the book, but I find this to be a common problem I have with much of Lehane's work -- for all the lovingly crafted (or is it just overworked?) verbiage, his plots simply seem so damn obvious to me. I'm not sure, though, if this is because he's an obvious writer, or we're just on the same narrative wavelength.

Thing is, there are several writers whose plots I can often suss out
(Block and Pronzini, in particular) well in advance, but generally, I keep reading, because I find they write so well, and create interesting, compelling characters. With Lehane, it becomes a chore. I don't particularly like his characters, and worse, I don't believe them.

Maybe it's just me, but he's one of those writers whose current popularity just baffles me.

Anyone else have this problem, where some writers' plots just offer no surprises?


Kevin -- # Plain ASCII text only, please. Anything else won't show up. # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

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