RARA-AVIS: Re: Newsweek names "Fifty Books of Our Times"

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 03 Jul 2009

  • Next message: James Michael Rogers: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Newsweek names "Fifty Books of Our Times""

    James wrote:

    > If you liked The Maltese Falcon, you might enjoy:...
    > An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P. D. James (1972)
    > Good book, but not a good match for a Hammet fan, yes?

    Only if you assume being a fan of something automatically eliminates the possibility of ever liking anything that isn't exactly the same. And the operative word is "might."

    Have you read it?

    She may not be Hammett (who is?), but James is a solid and very influential writer, one of the mystery genre's most respected authors. AN UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN, one of her few private eye novels, is well worth reading, and should not be dismissed out of hand. It prefigured the subsequent female eye boom, and raised interesting questions about the fictional eye mythology and gender. Not everyone's cup of tea, maybe, but not horse piss either.

    I could easily see someone with a little curiousity and intellectual courage reading and maybe even enjoying P.D. James' book. Even if they were a Hammett fan. Or a Who fan.

    By the way, in Dixon's post he refers to the THRILLING DETECTIVE WEB SITE as "The internet's most popular crime fiction site." That's a bold statement that I myself never try to make without adding a question mark and a grain or two of salt, because the way it's configured by Alexa seems a little peculiar. Plus I really can't believe my site, which focusses, in a blurry sort of way, on a single sub-genre, pulls in more traffic than the more wide-ranging THE RAP SHEET or even SHOTS.

    Then again, maybe with the word "thrilling" in its title, people think its a porn site.

    Kevin Burton Smith www.thrillingdetective.com
    "The internet's most popular crime fiction site?"

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