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

From: uplandharmabooks (
Date: 15 Mar 2007

--- In, "E. Borgers" <webeurop@...> wrote:
> I think Lehane is an overvalued writer, having a lot of readers
with limited knowledge of genre lit. Even of lit.
> Why is it so ? I wonder...

I like Lehane. After reading through this thread I started getting the feeling that I should be ashamed of liking him, but finally realized that was silly of me. Lehane tells a good character-driven story with tight plots, preposterous or not; he wouldn't be the first crime fiction writer to stretch the limits of a reader's suspension of disbelief or "cheat" with Shutter Island as Dave said. I've reread Shutter Island twice and with each reading I found that the cheating wasn't actually cheating...there were clues all along to what was going on, I just didn't pick them up in the first reading. Sometimes subtlety is refreshing. I see Cornell Woolrich as cheating more than Lehane.

"Too long, too many unnnecessary details on "secondary-secondary" characters, and a very average story."

Sometimes I'm in the mood for something long, a novel, and details that others may find unnecessary I find build the story. When I want something short and sweet I'll pick up a Thompson.

Why do we peons like him? Maybe because he offers something that is a little rare: a damn good story with well developed characters. Not to mention his spot-on dialog to which few can compare, then or now. I don't feel like I've wasted time and brain cells reading him like I have with a few other contemporary crime writers. There's just a certain substance to his books, even the "second tier" ones.

I'm not a writer or a scholar or a literary critic, but I also don't have a limited knowledge of genre lit or lit in general; I'm a reader of everything from classics to philosophy to hardboiled (and almost everything in between with the exception of romance). I feel that what Lehane does, he does very well. He's managed to cross the genre line and appeal to an audience that isn't exclusively crime readers while still remaining a crime writer.

And now, the final note of my little hissy fit ;) To me, his Patrick and Angela series is one of the best contemporary PI series.

Amy peace

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