RARA-AVIS: Welcome to Randy and Dogs of God

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 03 Aug 2007

Randy Krbechek wrote:

DOGS OF GOD by Pinckney Benedict (1994). Everyone dies, everything turns to cr*p. Good guys, bad guys, sense of moral compass? I don't see it. Overrated, with a wordy style (boy, I hope Mr. Benedict is not on this list!)

*************** Welcome to the list, Randy! You've read some cool books.

As far as Dogs of God, I loved it, including the wordy style. The pared down terseness of Hemingway and Hammett is not the only way to write hardboiled and noir. Faulkner and McCarthy vouch for that. The intensity of Dogs of God was fantastic, the pace never bogged, and the tension gets tighter with every page. There were scenes that just jumped off the pages. Breathtaking. I also loved the blatantly obvious symbolism, which, of course, is the only kind I ever pick up on. A couple examples? The anchorite falling in the graveyard and piercing the palm of his hand. Goody's three days lost underground and final discovery.

As far as good guys and bad guys, Benedict provided darned few of the first, and a buttload of the second.
 That ratio suited me just fine. As far as a moral compass, Benedict didn't do too much preaching, I'll give you that, but the reader needs to bring something to the game.


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