From: James R. Winter (
Date: 02 Dec 2004

--- In, JIM DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@y...> wrote:

> Could I have been wrong, I wondered, about I THE JURY?
> I reread and found my initial judgment validated.
> Great opening chapter. Great closing chapter. But
> everything in-between is, as I thought, dreck.

I did find I, THE JURY hard to get through. But the previous book I'd read was THE DROWNING POOL. I chalked it up to culture shock, going from a rather stylish and coherent California novel to this choppy tome about a pissed-off tough guy shooting anything that moves. It came off to me like RED HARVEST, only without the obvious Western motif to make it work. So how did I stomach getting from the strong opening to its classic ending while enduring the middle?

It was easy.

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

I read MY GUN IS QUICK last year, and the opening chapter made me check the cover two or three times. It sounded like a Larry Block intro. Much better novel, though, and at several points, I expected Hammer to go check his chess board, like Spillane was cribbing notes from Chandler and MacDonald. Whatever he did, though, it worked, because VENGEANCE is a great book. It's extremely pulpy, but I liked it because you could almost see the story from Chambers' or Velda's point of view. I could almost see someone rewriting the story from their points of view, esp. Velda's. I have to wonder if Velda almost demanded a stronger role as Spillane was writing.

OK, while you're chewing on that, I'm home from work reading John D MacDonald's PURPLE PLACE FOR DYING. We can all chill out in Nevada when I finish that one.

Jim Winter

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 02 Dec 2004 EST