Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Burke's Swan Song

From: Nathan Cain (
Date: 15 May 2008

I've never read the comic book stuff. I'll have to shceck it out. And I know of what I speak with the Burke novels, having read at least 11 of the 17 Burke novels. He kind of went off the rails after Blue Belle, if you ask me. On a side note, which of the Burke novels involves a kidnapped girl who, as an adult, ends up killing her kidnapper in a suicide bombing? I can't remember.

On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 5:19 PM, Kevin Burton Smith
<> wrote:
> Upon being informed Vachss' next Burke would be the last, Nathan wrote:
>> That's only 10 years overdue.
> So... how long before some puffball inevitably asks:
>> Out of curiosity, Nathan, what's your background? Anything
>> interesting at all?
>> As you know perfectly well, Nathan, vitriolic attacks on eminent
>> authors with no bearing on any of their actual writing does not
>> constitute an "opinion." It is in fact the contents of the books I'd
>> be more interested to hear you critique. I'll be fascinated to hear
>> how you'd improve them.
> Hee hee hee....
> Actually, kidding aside, Nathan, I more or less agree with you. I
> liked the early Burkes, as a sorta pure pulp wrap around a serious
> theme, but they got a little too cartoony and didactic for me after a
> while. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to laugh or take notes.
> Ironically, his actual comic book work at about the same time was
> taking a decidedly grittier, less GEE WHIZ tone, more street level and
> less West Side Story. He had some truly memorable stories about
> killers, thugs, hookers, junk yard dogs and the like; short nasty
> little vignettes that stood in sharp contrast to his increasingly fat
> novels.
> In fact, I think his comic book short stories were rounded up a few
> years back in a collection called HARD LOOK or HARD LOOKS. Something
> like that. They might still be available. And he even did a Batman
> graphic novel, about abused children of course, that was pretty good
> -- and less goofy than some of the Burke novels of the era. Also worth
> looking for, if you're a Batman or a Vachss fan.
> I know plenty of people here love the Burke books, so how do the more
> recent books stand up? Maybe Burke will go out with a real bang.
> By the way, before some royal pain misreads YET ANOTHER of my posts,
> my criticism of some of Burke's work DOES NOT mean I condone child
> abuse.
> Kevin Burton Smith

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 15 May 2008 EDT