Re: RE : RARA-AVIS: Bloch/Woolrich

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (
Date: 12 Feb 2008

I'm currently reading Manhattan Love Song which reminds me a lot of Fright. The main characters seem to be almost identical, especially the male progtagonist, though the story is different. It is set in 1928, which is four years before the novel was published, but it's surprising how progressive the thinking is about love, marriage, prostitution, etc.

You'll find that almost all Woolrich's male characters are like those in Fright--whining, self-indulgent, petulant, and morally ambiguous, while his female characters are strong, reserved, determined, and confident. That's what makes a Woolrich novel a unique experience.

One other thing about a Woolrich novel that no one has mentioned is that they are never predictable.


---- Patrick King <> wrote:
> While Woolrich's purple passages and liquid metaphors
> are a lot to deal with, I found the book engaging and
> interesting to think about. Preston Marshall is a very
> unattractive protagonist. He is not charming, he is
> not intelligent, he is a coward, and a clown. While
> unscrupulous character, he's both cunning and
> masculine. Marshall has not even these traits. The
> employer, Pond, is an interesting person because of
> the initial way he dealt with his own crimes, but he's
> underused in the book. Wise and his wife are great
> characters, but represent more of Marshall's fear of
> what they may be, then the people they actually turn
> out to be. I do feel sorry for Marjorie but her
> continued stupidity mitigates most of my good
> feelings. She is in every way better than her husband
> so why ever did she marry him in the first place?

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