Re: RARA-AVIS: Willeford's The Difference

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 09 Aug 2006

I disliked The Woman Chaser. I seem to remember it as boring. On the other hand, The Cock Fighter was really good. It's the only cockfighting novel I've ever read and probably the last, although I recently read The Day of the Locust (Nathanael West), which has cockfighting scenes in it that seemed convincing because they were so similar to some in the Willeford book.

Speaking of Day of the Locust--what a lot of well-written scenes there were! Even the scenery was interesting.


At 04:37 PM 09/08/2006 +0000, Channing wrote:

>I too just recently read "The Difference" and I agree it's not
>superior Willeford, but it does feature some of his hallmark
>In particular nobody writes casual psychopaths like Willeford.
>Although the hero is introduced as a young innocent wronged by
>greedy ranchers, there's something insidious going on. The
>narrator's casual disregard for human life is startling. He kills
>people in a way that suggests to him it's just an annoyance. If
>someone wrongs him, he doesn't make a big deal about killing
>them, but it's just a fact of nature that they have to die. In fact, the
>narrator doesn't even need an excuse to kill someone or any
>motivation. Their death is just part of his self-preservation.
>I also recommend "The Woman Chaser" as one of Willeford's
>best novels, which features a psychotic scumbag as a hero.
>And "The Cock Fighter" is the best cockfighting novel ever written.

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