Re: RARA-AVIS: Greetings from a New Member!

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 02 May 2007

Hi Annick-

And welcome to the group. First off, if Al Guthrie recommends anything, listen to the man. Oh, and get a copy of his Edgar-nominated book KISS HER GOODBYE, while you're at it, and read some of the best Scottish writing ever (way better than Sir Walter Scott, for example).

As for Megan Abbott, I too am an ardent admirer of her work. I also agree about THE SONG IS YOU (and a trip to the Rara Avis archives will bear that out, as I lavished praise on this particular book when I finished it a couple of months back).

If you're looking for something "similar", how about something that informs her work? She and I have discussed the usual suspects (Chandler, Woolrich, et. al.) that her writing initially evokes, and come to find out that she's also a fan of Ross MacDonald's work (as again, am I).

So check him out, especially stuff like THE CHILL, BLACK MONEY (his personal favorite of his own works), THE WYCHERLY WOMAN, THE GOOBYE LOOK, THE DROWNING POOL, or THE ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE.

I envy you the journey you're about to take. Although I can read these books and enjoy them, I can never again read them for the first time.

All the Best-

Brian Thornton

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Allan Guthrie
  Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 2:44 AM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Greetings from a New Member!

  Hello Annick,

  I'm a little confused as to what you're looking for stylistically, since I see Chandler and Cain as being poles apart, but I can certainly recommend a 50's period noir with a different take: Sara Gran's DOPE.

  QUEENPIN's set decades earlier than Megan's previous two. I was lucky enough to get an ARC. Superb book.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: nakedcitydame
  Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 1:32 AM
  Subject: RARA-AVIS: Greetings from a New Member!

  Hello everyone,

  Very excited to be a part of this group. I have long been a fan of
  FILM Noir, but just recently started actually READING it. When I tell
  you I'm a librarian you may think that declaration a bit odd. My
  equal passions are films and books, I toggle back and forth between
  them. I consider myself a femme fatale at heart, but a librarian by
  day, just to keep myself out of trouble.
  I am a fan of the Chandler, Cain school of noir writing and I really
  enjoy when I can find a modern writer that captures this style. I
  think I may have found one in Megan Abbott. I have read some of the
  postings about her on this board and I am glad you regard her as
  highly as I do. I particularly like the "voice" that she gives her
  characters. Her command of the noir language is dead on. I read Die a
  Little first, just finished The Song is You. Die.. really impressed
  me, The Song... just blew me away. Can't wait unitl Queenpin is
  released, I've already pre-ordered it on!
  I would really appreciate some reading suggestions for authors I
  should read next, if I like Megan Abbott's stories. I prefer stories
  that are set in the noir era, late '40s and '50s, that really capture
  that "voice" that is reminiscent of the writing style from that
  period in time. If I had to make a choice, The Song is You comes
  closer to my preferred storyline. Gil Hopkins reminds me of a Phillip
  Marlowe type, disillusioned but not yet ready to give up, still
  searching for the truth.
  I look forward to reading this groups opinions and analyses and hope
  I can contribute something that will be worth reading as well.



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