Re: RARA-AVIS: Reading Series in Order?

From: Stephen Burridge (
Date: 22 Jun 2008

I guess there are a couple of distinct issues here: (1) are the author's books related in such a way that enjoyment of later ones depends to some extent on familiarity with earlier ones; and (2) what is the best way to become familiar with an author's body of work. With respect to (2), I often opt for reading an author's books in order of publication, once I've decided I want to read a bunch or all of them. With respect to (1) I'm more relaxed than some people. As long as a book works as a self-contained unit, I don't mind if I'm missing out on development of themes and characters introduced earlier. If I'm interested enough, I can always go back and fill in that aspect of things.


On Sat, Jun 21, 2008 at 10:26 PM, Patrick King <> wrote:

> --- On Sat, 6/21/08, Stephen Burridge <<>>
> wrote:
> I have been re-reading Hammett myself. So far I've read the the Richard
> Laymon biography, followed by "The Maltese Falcon", "The Glass Key" and
> "Red
> Harvest". It doesn't seem to me that the order matters.
> ***********************************************************
> Certainly with regard to Hammett's stories it doesn't matter at all. But
> the evolving themes of wealthy dysfunctional families, insane femme fatales,
> and corrupt professionals evolves distinctly from RED HARVEST to THE THIN
> MAN. A similar series of themes exists in Chandler especially regarding
> sisters. There are opposing sisters or at least female doppelgangers in
> every Marlow adventure.
> Patrick King

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