RARA-AVIS: Dirty Sweet

From: vagrantpacific ( pacificvagrant@gmail.com)
Date: 21 Feb 2008

I was on the Elmore Leonard website and saw this one advertised as, "if you love Leonard then..." I'm always on the look out for more crime writers following in Leonard's footsteps so I grabbed Diry Sweet up real quick. Have to admit that at first I almost couldn't take it. John McFetridge wasn't so much paying homage to the master as totally steal his hardboiled style. But the characters weren't there, and I know I'm a lone voice on this one, but it's the characters that really make Leonard so amazing. Call it detached realism. McFetridge created some pretty two dimensional people, characters who would have been more suited for a movie - not surprising since this writer is also a screenwriter. I ended up reading the whole thing anyway, and it got better, or I loosened up. McFetridge does this cool with dialogue that I haven't seen as stylized before. It's also cool that the book takes place in Canada, with the characters constantly joking about how safe and boring Toronto is.

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