Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Slapstick-Silly Noir

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 17 Jun 2009

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    In addition to making some fairly interesting points this post is also an ad hominem attack, and I don't like seeing it, just like I didn't like seeing the last one.

    You really know your stuff, so how about you leave the personal stuff out of it and stick to a discussion of the writing?

    And don't bother with one of those, "he did it first" responses. That's just infantile.

    And people wonder why Terrill Lankford is a *former* subscriber to Rara Avis.

    All the Best-

    Brian, who is no one's apologist, just really getting tired of the flame-fest.

    On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 8:40 PM, davezeltserman <> wrote:

    > --- In <>, Kevin
    > Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
    > > Or what? You'll pose with a pool cue?
    > >
    > Another unprovoked shot, huh, Kevin?
    > To set the record straight, that wasn't a pose. I needed a picture for
    > Point Blank Press, and the ones my wife were taking weren't coming out well,
    > so she had me shoot a game of pool and took pictures while I shot, so no
    > posing was involved. But you want to know something? A lot of writers pose
    > for their photos, some pay a lot of money for studio shots, and some big
    > name writers even pose to look tough (or whatever image they're trying to
    > project)--I've seen plenty of tough guy Robert Parker shots over the years
    > and while he seemed like a nice guy the few times I've seen him at Kate's,
    > he doesn't appear all that particularly tough in real life. Just in his
    > posed shots. But wait a minute, is it taking potshots if I dare mention a
    > populist writer, especially one you idolize?? Btw. I'd rather have my pool
    > shot on display than your goateed wrinkled turtle head shot that for
    > whatever reason you're using.
    > Now Kevin, I know you're a paragon of truth, virtue and pedestrian populist
    > writing, but let's quit the bullshit. You had no interest in talking about
    > humor noir (whatever the fuck that is) when you started posting about
    > brown-nosing circle-jerkers, and then accusing me of providing a blurb
    > without reading the book. You started all this because you smelled blood,
    > and wanted to accuse either me and/or Allan Guthrie in lacking integrity for
    > providing blurbs for a book that you, as the paragon for truth, virtue and
    > pedestrian populist writing, found lacking. That's pretty clear from your
    > earlier posts, but when the book gathered support from other sources you had
    > to change your tactics. Now I know you're going to come back with a lot of
    > bluster and misdirection and accusations, and I know some of your apologists
    > are going to come out defending you, as what happens on every list when you
    > start your bullying ways. But let's quit the bullshit, okay?
    > Now other issues, I didn't believe Flexer had any intention of writing a
    > comedy with Disassembled Man, same with Jim Thompson when writing Pop. 1280.
    > Humor frequently pops up in crime fiction--even in Derek Raymond's savage
    > and very grim factory books. In Flexer's case, humor might have been used,
    > especially absurdest humor, but to me I took his intentions of showing his
    > protagonist in a full psychotic breakdown, and that its intention was to be
    > a serious work, although no argument for me that he was at times is trying
    > too hard.
    > Now your take on blurbs I found particularly bizarre. A writer giving
    > another writer a blurb is not the same as writing a review. They're not
    > stressing all the strengths and weaknesses of a work. If given honestly it's
    > an endorsement, but it's also the equivalent of a sound bite. What was my
    > blurb for "The Disassembled Man"? Something like it's a shotgun blast of a
    > novel where Jim Thompson's psychotic noir meets Bruce Jay Friedman's
    > absurdest humor? By giving the blurb I'm clearly endorsing the book, which
    > I'm comfortable with, and I believe my short description gives an accurate
    > representation, which again I'm comfortable with. But I'm sorry, if you
    > expect me to write a blurb such as "The book has excesses and indulgences,
    > but the writer shows real talent, and the book is worth reading if you like
    > Jim Thompson and Bruce Jay Friedman, even though it might be a bit rough",
    > you're nuts. We can take a look at some of the blurbs that bestselling
    > writers give, and we can see how honest those are.
    > About your question dealing with what writers should expect from reviews, I
    > can tell you most writers I know would answer this the same way--honest
    > reviews. When the reviewer starts making it personal (as you did with The
    > Disassembled Man), that's when they're off base, and I'd bet you just about
    > any writer at any level feels that way. Btw. A writer puts a book out there,
    > its fair game for review, but I did find it interesting that you would
    > hammer away at a first time writer who is probably at the absolute bottom of
    > the totem pole with the vitriol that you did.
    > About writing reviews for books that haven't been read all the way
    > through--I agree. But guess?? Here on rara avis we're not writing reviews,
    > but engaging in discussions, and anything is fair game, even the bullshit
    > that you keep bringing up.
    > --Dave

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