Re: RARA-AVIS: Nameless Detective uncloaked?

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 16 May 2007

Great stuff, Mark. Thanks for digging it all out. I love that last line. P.I. Bill Pronzini -- it has a ring to it. I'll look for or order TWOSPOT.

MOURNERS I just finshed reading has alternating chapters focusing on Runyon and Tamara (both in 3rd person). The POV shift doesn't take me out of the story.


--- wrote:

> Ed wrote:
> "Do you mean the other characters (like Kerry, his wife, Jake
> Runyon, and Tamara Corbins) in the series? I notice they
> refer to him as 'Bill'."
> No, I mean that the first four novels in the series were
> written in the first person and Pronzini avoided his
>character's first name, but his first crossover book, which
> was indeed Twospot, was written in alternating chapters with >
Collin Wilcox. As I recall (I must have
> gotten that book from the library, as I don't have a copy),
> Pronzini explains in the intro that it became necessary that >
Nameless have at least a first name so Frank Hastings could
> address him in Wilcox's police procedural chapters.
> Pronzini also addresses his detective's namelessness in the
> intro to the short story collection, Case File (1983):
> "Not too many other people figured this out [that Nameless was
> actually the author, and vice versa] until, in a 1978
> collaboration between 'Nameless' and Collin Wilcox's
> Lieutenant Frank Hastings (Twospot), he was publicly and for >
novelistic reasons given a first name: Bill. Aha!
> folks said then. The damn detective has the same first name
> as the writer; ergo, he must have the same last name, too.
> Right? "Right. But he has remained officially 'Nameless' in
> subsequent entries in the series and will continue to remain >
so in future entries. For one very good reason.
> "Bill Pronzini may be an okay name for a writer, but it's a
> lousy name for a private eye."

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