Re: RARA-AVIS: Key to the Suite

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 07 Jul 2006

--- Jeff Vorzimmer <> wrote:
> I've already finished Key to the Suite and I thought it was
> good, but not
> great. I guess it would be classified as a crime novel, though
> the deaths in
> the novel were accidental. But it wasn't a typical Gold Medal
> crime novel.
> Yes, there was a femme fatale and lots of heavy drinking, a
> few punches
> thrown, but no real crime to speak of. I know I'm in the
> minority here since
> at least a half dozen of you expressed enthusiasm for the
> book. But with JDM
> I'm always reminded of what Capote once said of Kerouac, he
> doesn't write,
> he types. Besides Kerouac, I've read other authors who seem to
> sit down and
> start typing to see where the story takes them without seeming
> to have
> worked out the plot ahead of time. This would certainly
> explain how JDM
> could be so prolific.
> It almost seems as though JDM got almost to the end of Key to
> the Suite and
> realized that he was intending to write a crime novel, but no
> crime had been
> committed. Then he creates a situation that's so hopelessly
> convoluted 17
> pages before the end that you wonder what the hell the
> denouement will be.

I read KEY a few years back and may've commented on it the archives. The crime parts didn't stick in my mind. I remember the setting and place more. Sort of a 1950s slice of life -- the hotel and characters and advertising racket. Other JDM novels have left the same impressions. That's probably enough of an attraction, though I haven't read a JDM recently.

Ed Lynskey

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 Jul 2006 EDT