RARA-AVIS: Re: The Peddler by Richard Prather

From: hardcasecrime ( editor@hardcasecrime.com)
Date: 20 Dec 2006

Thanks. I'll definitely pass your comments along to Dick Prather, who'll be tickled to hear them. Talking to him about THE PEDDLER, I didn't get the sense that it was very controversial when first published (which surprises me a little, since there are things in it that come across as a bit raw and edgy even today). But interestingly we've gotten feedback from some *current* readers who felt the book was too harsh for them to take. I wonder, sometimes, whether somewhere along the way public sensibilities have gotten softer and more sensitive rather than coarser and more permissive -- certainly you could show more (in the way of nudity or violence) on the cover of a paperback in 1956 than you could possibly get away with in 2006. It's a commonplace to lament the degraded state of popular culture and to complain about increasing vulgarity, sexualization and so forth -- but based on at least some of the evidence I've seen, in some ways people are more uptight today than they were fifty years ago.


--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Zeltserman" <dz@...> wrote:
> I just finished the Hard Case reprint of The Peddler by Richard
> Prather, and this was quite an achievement in writing. I've read a
> half dozen or so Shell Scott books, enjoyed them for what they
> but this book caught me by surprise. You can think of it as a mix
> Pacino's Scarface and a Jim Thompson inspired nightmare. Tough kid
> Tony Romero works his way up the ladder in the prostitution racket,
> and things go from bad to worse with a bit of madness and paranoia
> thrown into the mix. The writing, at least for me, is very
> interesting, a naturalness to it that reminded me of Paul Cain.
> tough, unflinching, and it's hard to imagine this book being
> in 1952. Anyway, this is well-worth reading, and Charles, if you
> any stories of the reaction this book caused when it came out, I
> to hear them. And pass onto Mr. Prather that this is one hell of a
> great book.
> --Dave

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Dec 2006 EST