Re: RARA-AVIS: Pelecanos, The Night Gardener

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 14 Aug 2006

bobav wrote:

>> Point of order regarding "Test of Time": that was Doherty taking one
thing I said in the course of a looooong discussion on Spillane . . .

>Apologies for the tweak. I've been on Rara-Avis for 7 or 8 years, and
I used to groan, but now cheer, when Doherty school is in session.
"Test of time" was a good new one.

I've met Jim in person (Toronto Bouchercon), and I really enjoyed talking to him. That said, I like it better when he talks than when "school is in session." I guess that's why I keep putting off taking his Barnes & Noble course on Chandler!

>> And I don't claim any objectivity where Pelecanos is concerned. I
don't like his work, test of time, or not.

>That's why I said you shouldn't read it. Life's too short for us to
annoy ourselves. As for your critical method (which I think I follow - you do go on a bit), hey, it works fine for you, but I'm less interested in fault-finding. If I like 'em, I like 'em.

But it's not fault-finding. At all. It's a cognizance of what they do well and what they don't do well. And it's not as if I'm cataloguing their faults. Speaking as someone who writes a bit, I'm always trying to improve my own writing (and there's plenty of room for improvement). So to steal a page from our own Al Guthrie, I don't mind a discussion deconstructing the nuts and bolts of a particular author's work, because it might be akin to what Gregory Hines called "stealing another step" by watching another dancer at work. I know not everyone comes here for that, but we enough posters willing to discuss that sort of thing that there's plenty to learn even by lurking (which is what I mostly do).

>> I'm not suggesting anyone change their opinion based on my
experience, merely offering mine as yet another one to help complete a picture of the writing of that author.

>Me too. I apologize for suggesting that Pelecanos detractors try the
new one. Pelecanos detractors should not try the new one.

I apologize for calling you on that one, since we're all apologizing all over ourselves here.

>> I guess I'm just not much for love-fests.

>Well, ok then. But my initial post was inspired by an unusual book
reading and book release date party in a bar, a pretty good setting for a love-fest. I guess I'm just into love-fests.

Well, it did sound a bit like a first date. ;)

>PS: Miker - to prove I'm balanced, the Pelecanos you've got lined up,
Down by the River . . . is probably his weakest. Generally speaking, later is better.

Attaboy, Bob!


Back to lurking for me.

All the Best-


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