Re: RARA-AVIS: Bruen and the Tinkers

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 15 Mar 2005

I didn't quite remember the book the same way, but your summary's great! I found Bruen's clipped yet literary style refreshingly original, and he made me wanted to go out and read all the books he mentioned, at least the ones I haven't already. Some of the violence was unnecessarily graphic, in my opinion.

I've just finished The White Trilogy and despite the appalling number of errors that undoubtedly put me in the slightly wrong frame of mind, I liked it. I then went on to read Blitz, which is another featuring the same pair of cops, Roberts and Brant. It's got a different publisher, and a better editor.

I still like Bruen, but I find the relentless portrayal of the police force as vicious, corrupt and corrupting kind of depressing. Does that make it noir? (Don't tell me that makes it realistic. Although this week's news from New York about the police doing hits for the mob is food for thought.)


At 00:24 15/03/05, Michael Etchison wrote:

>Several folks have warmly praised Bruen's The Killing of the Tinkers in the
>last couple of weeks.
>I don't get it. I tried, but I didn't get it.
>To my eye, the book is structured like this [warning: SPOILER]:
>PI hits self on head with skillet.
>Someone kills Tinker A.
>PI hits self on head with saucepan.
>PI thinks about some loud half-talented rock group. He thinks about George
>Pelecanos. His thoughts about each are not very interesting.
>Someone kills Tinker B.
>Lead Tinker insists that a single person is killing the tinkers because
>they're tinkers.
>PI makes limp wisecrack, hits self on head with waffle iron, says he'll get
>the killer.
>Someone kills Tinker C.
>PI feels bad about his headache, hits self on head with branding iron.
>For no apparent reason, PI gets a reading from A Profiler.
>Profiler describes the killer as left-handed, prone to spill his buttermilk,
>who buttons his shirt from the top down and uses washcloths with stripes on
>For no apparent reason, PI spends some time with someone who is left-handed,
>prone to spill his buttermilk, who buttons his shirt from the top down and
>uses washcloths with stripes on them.
>PI hits self on head with cricket bat.
>PI tells Lead Tinker that someone else did the killings.
>After Lead Tinker takes care of the named culprit, PI says, "Oops." Hits
>self on head with bootjack.
>Book ends.

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