Re: RARA-AVIS: Who don't you like?

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 29 Jun 2006

I've just begun reading Pelecanos's Hard Revolution, so I had to laugh about
"too much driving around Washington listening to music." I enjoy this sort of wallowing around in the long ago, but I might not, if I hadn't already read enough of his books to know that he's setting the scene and we will, indeed, be going somewhere.
    I've no doubt said here before that I dislike the Spenser books, because of all the standing around cooking, the vapid Susan, and the unpersuasive deployment of a psycho sidekick. For a long time, there wasn't much else readily available in the PI field but these and Nero Wolfe reprints, so I have read most of the early ones.
    I had the same reaction to the White Trilogy that you did.
    I've probably also written here that John D. MacDonald reads like Hugh Hefner writing detective stories and expressed my disappointment in the lurid-covered pbo's you all persuade me to read every now and then. Even Goodis, who has his good points, drove me nuts with his world-class piano player who had a penchant for street brawls. I get hung up when the literal facts don't work for me, which is also why I threw my first and only Lee Childs at the wall after a few chapters. Joy the iconoclast

William Denton asked:
> Are there any of the major (or minor) hardboiled and noir writers you
> don't like, even though everyone else seems to? I know a number of folks
> on the list aren't impressed by John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books or
> most of his others. I was saying earlier that Ken Bruen's early books
> disappointed me, and a while back I gave away a Victor Gischler without
> finishing it.
> I think we all agree that Dan J. Marlowe's later books in the Earl Drake
> series are, as the critics say, crappy. Some people find recent James
> Ellroy unreadable, and some people find all of Ellroy unreadable. Robert
> S. Parker's last decade or two seems to fare badly against his earlier
> books--I wouldn't know, I gave up on him years ago.
> Do any of you think Chandler is drivel or James M. Cain was no good?
> Anyone repulsed by Jim Thompson? Given up on Pelecanos because there's
> too much driving around Washington listening to music?
> Speak up if you have a long-simmering dislike of a well-respected author
> and you want to get it off your chest. The rest of us may not understand
> it, but we won't mind.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Jun 2006 EDT