Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Two for the Money

Date: 24 Jul 2005

Jim wrote:

"Charles didn't bring it up. Once it came up, he had a right to defend his editorial choice."

But Charles did not defend his EDITORIAL decision; he defended his BUSINESS decision, as you note beginning with your very next sentence:

"And the popularity of the TWO FOR THE MONEY ominibus makes it clear that it was a good business decision. . . . But when a business decision, a successful business decision, of Charles is questioned, he has a right to defend his decision, and he did so with class and courtesy."

Jeff, who started the thread, did not question Charles's business decision. He simply noted he did not like this one book, while saying he had liked every other book he had read in the line and intends to read more in the future. So clearly Jeff appreciates Charles's overall business model, but questioned why this one book was included.

"To defend the quality would be to sound like he's doing precisely what you rail against, shilling for his own work, so he defended his decision in a neutral way, by pointing to the book's popularity, which proved the soundness of the business decision without necessarily questioning Jeff's opinions about the quality."

What's wrong with engaging Jeff's opinion about the quality? We disagree with each other all the time on this list about the quality of particular books. Why shouldn't Charles offer his opinion on this book, even if he pubished it? He must like it if he published it. So what'd he like about it? Or was it just to offer Collins's fans a chance to read a couple of his early, long out of print books? Was it because they were the only Collins books that were available for reprinting? It would be very interesting to know how Hard Case Crime books are chosen. How much of it is editorial, how much is business?

I've been very curious about how Charles (and Max) decides what books to publish. I've followed Hard Case's progress with interest ever since Charles first asked the list for recommendations on books worthy of republishing. So how are they chosen? I'm not faulting the choices, I'd just like to know how they're made. For instance, the cover of Branded Woman (which I am currently enjoying) notes that it's by the same author as Touch of Evil and Plunder of the Sun (which I also enjoyed immensely) is blurbed as from the author of To Catch a Thief. So why those two books and not the ones the movies were based on? Or why that Al Colby book by David Dodge and not the first in the series?

For the record, when I read them long ago, I enjoyed Collins's Nolan
(and Quarry) books as kind of light comic book versions of Parker. I liked them much less when I later reread one, found the writing kind of wooden and the overall book too comic booky.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Jul 2005 EDT