Re: RARA-AVIS: Rare Books Continued - Somebody's Done For

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 27 Oct 2008

  • Next message: Sandra Ruttan: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Rare Books Continued - Somebody's Done For"

    While I might agree that there are occasions where Goodis could have researched better (it's not a big bugbear of mine, though -- I don't expect or want realism from Goodis), I disagree with the implication that you need to have experienced what you write about to be convincing. Authenticity, for fiction, is in the details, and not in who experienced them.


    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeff Vorzimmer" <>
    > I know he had has his fifteen minutes of fame and fortune with the
    > serialization of Dark Passage in the Saturday Evening Post, the subsequent
    > film version and the brief Hollywood screenwriting career that followed,
    > but
    > I don't think he crammed enough living in those good years to give his
    > novels the necessary verisimilitude before retreating to the oblivion of
    > the
    > poolhalls of Northeast Philly. Hemingway, by contrast, actually ran with
    > the
    > bulls he wrote about and was in the First World War as well as the Spanish
    > Civil War.
    > When you read any of the dozens of flying ace stories he cranked out in
    > the
    > early forties, you realize just how apt the Walter Mitty analogy is. I'm
    > sure the guy could count on one hand or two hands the times he was even in
    > an airplane. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong here.
    > Some interesting notes about his novels: They are all crime novels. All
    > but
    > four of them are set in Philadelphia. About half of them have the main
    > character contemplating suicide at one point.
    > Jeff

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