Re: RARA-AVIS: Big hardboiled epics

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 28 Sep 2004

After this first paragraph, Bill, I said, "Yes, a series. You've explained why I prefer a series to a stand-alone."
     In response to your "I don't mean a series" paragraph, I'd say that some series are essentially a group of stand-alones featuring the same character. The books can be read in any order, and the protagonist, the setting, and the outside world change little or not at all.
    Other series are more like epics or sagas (I'm not an English major), and the people in them grow and change and disappear and reappear and do something inevitable and dumb that takes three books to straighten out. Right now, I'm looking forward to what Nina Zero does next, for example. That's a series that can't be read in any old order.


William Denton asked:
> On the other hand, I do like epics: huge, involved stories with lots of
> people, spanning years or decades, where you really get to know people,
> and you don't just see them in a moment of crisis, you get to see their
> whole lives.
> Are there any hardboiled epics? I don't mean series, where each novel is
> pretty much a self-contained unit, usually with a hero who gets mixed up
> in a crime and solves it and then goes home. I mean something like
> Ellroy's LA Quartet, which is the only example that comes to mind. I
> don't know if he intended it to be four parts when he started, but it
> hangs together as one big work (albeit one that gets freakier as it goes
> along) and by the end it's like you've known Pete Bondurant all your life.
> Same for his next books, AMERICAN TABLOID and THE COLD SIX THOUSAND, and
> the next one which I think is supposed to wrap up his history.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Sep 2004 EDT