Re: RARA-AVIS: David Goodis and jazz influence

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 21 Jul 2007

Right. I haven't seen the movie in a while, but I can hear Bogart saying the dialogue as I read it in the novel. I'm not sure how faithfully the film script adheres to what Goodis wrote. But Bogart is always there.


--- wrote:
> Ed wrote:
> "Okay, there's one in the first five pages. But the force of
> the
> narrative carries you along."
> That's probably why I moved on. I liked the style and was
> interested
> enough in the characters to overlook the terrible coincidences
> -- the
> one that made me laugh to keep from throwing the book down was
> the
> random cab driver recognizing him and not only not turning him
> in, but
> having exactly the connection he needed at that point. That
> was even
> worse than the one you mention at the beginning.
> "I'm curious, Mark. Which Goodis titles do you like the most?"
> My favorite is Street of No Return. There's something about
> the
> circularity of it that really appealed to me. Only slightly
> behind that
> I'd rate Cassidy's Girl or Down There.
> In fact, the only other one besides Dark Passage that I've
> read that I
> would count as a lesser work of his is Wounded and the Slain.
> I'm not
> sorry I read it, but found it more interesting for how it
> relates to
> other of his books than for itself. It has many of the usual
> Goodis
> elements, but it's like he's still working them out. There
> are the
> fragile blonde woman he loved, but couldn't make it work with
> and the
> dark lower class woman he fights against being with, but he
> dispenses
> with her pretty early on. Which is part of the second
> element,
> upstanding middle class guy drinking his career and sexual
> frustration
> away, but it's odd seeing the process; in many of his other
> books, the
> guy starts at the bottom, the cause seen in flashback.
> And there was that '50s Freudianism that someone recently
> mentioned
> about another book. I must admit, though, that I was somewhat
> surprised
> by the open discussion of the female orgasm in a '50s book,
> but the very
> slow rise of the repressed memory got tired. And it led into
> some
> serious plot manipulation in the last quarter to bring about a
> pretty
> unbelievable "happy ever after" for the couple, as artificial
> as those
> in films of the era. I have trouble even thinking of "happy
> ever after"
> in reference to a Goodis book.

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