RARA-AVIS: Re: Name Your Poison

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dz@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 30 Aug 2006

David wrote:

> i want a book
> full of sex and danger, rain-soaked streets, whiskey,
> ambiguity, and a big fat question mark hovering over
> everything like the eye of a dead god. (sings)
> that's entertaaaainment!!

same as me, as long as the sex, danger, etc. makes sense and isn't just there for gratuitous effect. If it feels true, then it works, otherwise it loses me.


In the great Hammett short, The Gutting of Couffignal, when the Continental Op shoots the Russian broad in the leg and then asks her what'd she expected from a guy who'd steal a crutch from a cripple-- it was perfect. It was true to the character and didn't cheat, and delivered an ending (and story) that resonates with the reader. If Hammett wasn't a great writer and changed the ending to something gratuitous, such as the Op ripping the broad's dress and the two of them going at before eventually arresting her, the story would've sucked, and we would've been cheated as readers.

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