Re: RARA-AVIS: What led to Dark Ride?

From: William Denton (
Date: 19 Sep 2005

On 9 September 2005, Kukana Fields wrote:

: But I found a voice in Thompson that I could really relate too at that
: moment. It was the right voice at the right time. I was going through a
: bad patch myself working in Oakland and getting shot at everyday. Broke
: all the time etc etc. Then Gulf War One started and my response was to
: write Dark Ride out of the blue really and in the Thompson style. It was
: a kind of freedom to try to conjure up that voice; I didn't plan the
: book. I just sat down and wrote it. (I wrote that book on a clipboard
: during the day, when I could at work, then would drink brandy and
: transpose it to my computer at night, all very intense.[your best work
: you seem to disappear into completely like a love affair.)

That's a hell of a story. Thanks.

: One last thing. I've felt a great deal of respect for Mr. Jim Thompson
: since. I think Lou Ford is one of the great American literary
: characters, maybe also one of the great characters in World Literature.

Toronto and the areas around it can have horrible stretches in the summer where it's very humid and the air is stagnant and thick with pollution. Once last summer during one of these spells I was sitting around with some folks and, of course, people complained about the weather. Now, there's no point in complaining about how hot it is. I find such conversations dull. I thought it might be amusing to throw out a cliche and belabour it, seeing peoples' reactions. What if I said, "You know what I always say? It's not the heat, it's the humidity. You get it? It's not the heat. It's the humidity." And then I'd nod sagely. Well, all this went through my head in a second or so, and then I thought, "I'm turning into Lou Ford!"

Luckily, that impulse has never returned. I hope it never does. But somewhere down deep, we all have some Lou Ford in us.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : :

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 19 Sep 2005 EDT