From: davezeltserman (davezelt@rcn.com)
Date: 11 Jun 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:

    > Dave felt Parker's CALIFORNIA GIRL was obvious;

    Being obvious was the least of the problems I had with California Girl. The oh so preciousness of the writing. That oh so tender scene of the first act of engaging in sex--if I wanted some crap Harlequin romance I would've bought one! One of the many many things I hated about this book was the denseness of the cops in their failure to make obvious connections just to keep the book going--which by the way is one of the many many things I love about Hammett--his characters not only make the obvious connections but they're usually already 2 steps ahead--they might make mistakes, but they're reasonable mistakes.

    I'm a slower reader than I used to be--when I was younger I'd zip through a book in a day. Now If I find a book I love I usually read it in 2-3 days (The Ax, for example), a book I like, maybe a week. With California Girl, after a month of tortuous struggle I'd gotten through a 100 pages before giving up (I had promised Parker's publicist I would interview him for Hardluck Stories and wanted to keep my commitment). Yes, California Girl is far more polished than Disassembled Man, yes it's more written for the masses with its bourgeoisie pretensions of being something greater than it is, and yes, its publisher was able to spend enough money to make it a bestseller (and they spent a lot of money---I got that from my previous agent), but I guarantee you reading California Girl was far more tortuous for me than reading The Disassembled Man was for you given that you were able to get through it.


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