RARA-AVIS: Fade to Blonde

From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 19 May 2005

I just finished Max Phillip's novel Fade to Blonde and I must say I was extremely impressed with his recreation of the language and the whole milieu of the Gold Medal paperback and that era. The book is an excellent example of how to recreate a time period without a lot of cultural and social references. The key in Fade to Blonde is the subtle use of the language of the time period, which I had pegged at about 1962.

There was one reference that puzzled me, though. References to movies are a great way to bring back a time period and I definitely appreciated the references to the Hitchcock movies, but then, near the end, he uses ficiticious movie titles--Friendship Ranch and Carter and Sharp on the High Seas. The later being a reference to a comedy duo in a novel by Elizabeth McCraken and a specific movie mentioned in that book. Sounds like an inside joke between novelists.

Charles, can you give us any insight on these movie titles?

BTW, this is my favorite of all the HCC books I've read so far.


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