Re: RARA-AVIS: Who changed the noir writing ?

Date: 13 Mar 2007


Colin did a better job than I at explaining the appeal and innovation of O'Connell. As for James Sallis, his Lew Griffin novels are also unique. It's probably possible to take the early entries as simply crime novels, but as the series goes on, they become far more complex. Crime becomes less and less the series' focus, can't even remember if there was one in the last book. The character goes through some serious changes, and the narrative is far from straight forward. The first book alone is made up of four (or was it three? time to read them again) interconnected short stories that span decades. The other books weave in and out of those stories, sometimes giving very different readings of the same incidents, as they resonate different ways at different points in his life. This series really should be read in order. Although they are not very chronological in their telling, there is a slow build in the revealing of the many levels of Lew Griffin.
  Sallis does other voices just as well. Drive is a very good, though far from orthodox, caper novel about a getaway car dirver; it's linked in my mind to those classic existential car movies of the '70s, like The Driver, Two Lane Blacktop, Vanishing Point, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, etc.

And still another voice in his latest series. I've read Cypress Grove and will soon get to Cipple Creek.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Mar 2007 EDT