Re: RARA-AVIS: Crumley's Mexican Tree Duck (was:Introduction)

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 24 Aug 2004

I totally agree with Doug. DANCING BEAR is the weakest novel produced by Crumley with a too conventional plot and ending (under others). But as Doug mentioned it, a weak Crumley novel is often miles above some recent lauded works by others. IMHO, THE MEXICAN TREE DUCK was often misunderstood by critics and readers, thinking more of it as a comics-like plot and drug-crazy characters than anything else. It's more about disillusion and real meaning of life, packed in a gripping road novel, than anything else. A great book.

Some years ago I wrote a detailed review of THE MEXICAN TREE DUCK; if you are interested, you will find it in HARD-BOILED MYSTERIES at:

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

Doug Bassett :

>I'm currently rereading Crumley's THE MEXICAN TREE
>DUCK, which is as good as I remember it (and IMO
>rather underrated). Before that was his DANCING BEAR,
>which I liked but seemed to blur out, here and there.
>I generally prefer the C.W. Shugrue books to the Milo
>Milodragovitch books, I think: I suspect Crumley
>overidentifies with Milo, which tends to lead him
>toward some self-indulgence. Much of DANCING BEAR is
>really an essay about Montana more than an actual
>Not saying it's bad, though. Even secondary Crumley is
>better than 90% of everything else out there.
>--- "

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