Re: RARA-AVIS: recent reads

From: Nathan Cain (
Date: 17 May 2007

The Follower reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis' work, but without a lot of the pretension. Starr's work has been moving more and more toward having a mass appeal. He has specialized in writing about shallow, callow, selfish characters, and he's done it well, very well, in fact. For all her cluelessness, I think Katie Porter is his most sympathetic character ever, and I think this novel has the most commercial appeal of anything he's written. If it does turn out to be a big success, it will certaintly be well deserved one.

> Very well put. The Tom Wolfe analogy is apt and I've mentioned here
> previously. It certainly was true of his last two books--Twisted City and
> Lights Out. Twisted City seemed like Jason imitating Wolfe and eventually
> getting so good at it that Lights Out seemed like Jason Starr imitating
> Tom
> Wolfe imitating Jason Starr. Like he was alternating teaming up with Wolfe
> as well as Bruen.
> Aside from the obvious similarities to Bonfire of the Vanities, there is
> another striking parallel to Wolfe in that, as Jason becomes more
> successful, he writes characters that are further and further up the
> social
> strata with each novel. It was like Wolfe writing from the perspective of
> Leonard Berstein's high-rise apartment. I miss the grittiness of Jason's
> early novels--the bars . . . the racetrack.
> Jason, feel free to jump in here and defend yourself.
> Jeff

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