RARA-AVIS: Re: Joseph Hansen 1st impressions: "Early Graves"

From: Richard Moore ( moorich2@aol.com)
Date: 08 Mar 2005

In a bit of purposeful irony, Brandstetter's straight father hopped from woman to woman, some became wives and others were just lovers. Meanwhile Dave practised monogamy with lovers rarely changing.

Dave's personal life is always a major subplot and, as I said before, I found this one of the most attractive features of the series,especially as he aged from book to book and Cecil, his long- time lover, nagged him to retire.

I need to dig up the old magazine wherein the fine editor Robert Lowndes describes discusses the two types of series. One is static wherein the hero never ages and nothing changes from book-to-book. The other evolves with characters aging, circumstances changing, and etc. He had very appropriate names for each but be damned if I can remember the terms.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Burridge, Stephen"
<stephen.burridge@h...> wrote:
> Hansen's another writer whose work I didn't know. I read "Early
> a relatively late (late '80s) Dave Brandstetter novel, in which
the AIDS
> epidemic is a central concern. I found it an enjoyable read, with
> I thought was a quite decent plot. The murder victim is an
> character, imo.
> I haven't read many stories set in the gay subculture. This is
> definitely the world Brandstetter inhabits most of the time, and I
> it interesting both as a slightly exotic setting and as an
> for the alienation and some of the conflicts that affect
> and other characters.
> Brandstetter's personal life is developed in what I would say
amounts to
> a subplot. The reader is adequately brought up to speed on the
> situation he's in with his lover, but it would probably be more
> satisfying to have read earlier book(s), in which the development
of the
> relationship is presumably described, first.
> Reading an earlier book would probably be a better way to get a
> on the Brandstetter character as detective, and his attitudes to
> society, etc, as well. In "Early Graves" he's famous and
> has good relations with the cops, and lots of money, apparently
> inherited. He's persistent and individualistic, thinking for
> like most fictional PIs, I suppose. He's not a cynic, but someone
> is willing to take emotional risks and who still retains a faith in
> human nature, though few illusions.

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