RARA-AVIS: andrew vachss

From: djpenfold2003 ( djpenfold2003@yahoo.co.uk)
Date: 28 Jan 2008

I have been a long term lurker on this mailing list and thought it time to emerge from the shadows. I have had some contact with certain list members in the past and enjoy very much the general tone of the discussion here. My favourite writers include Hammett and Chandler obviously, Ted Lewis , Gerald Kersh, Charles Willeford, Harry Whittington and most of the best Gold Medal writers, and from the modern era writers such as Daniel Woodrell, Kem Nunn, David Peace, George Pelecanos, James Crumley, and from this list John Williams.

The reason I'm breaking silence is to bring Andrew Vachss' work to the forum. I have picked up the impression that amongst the connoisseurs of hard boiled fiction, the man is not receiving his due. Is it his particular subject matter, I wonder, that prevents him from being ranked alongside Ellroy or Leonard? Even were that the case, surely The Getaway Man ranks among the best contemporary hard boiled fiction.
 I would say perhaps his Burke series has gone on a little too long at the expense of other writing, but his two books of short stories and the stand alone novels Shella and The Getaway Man are flawless models of the contemporary hardboiled form with a lineage directly traceable back to Paul Cain and the rest of the Black Mask boys but without being marred by any overt retrospection.

I would be very interested to hear other members views on this subject. I look forward to contributing more to this group from now on. Cheers, Dan.

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