the vapours RARA-AVIS: was Newsweek names "Fifty Books of Our Times"

From: sonny (
Date: 04 Jul 2009

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    i read the 'after a fashion' column in the austin chronicle by stephen macmillan moser (an extremely 'out' gay man).

    i started reading it when i became friends with his sister margaret, a music journalist, but the reading it often gives 'me' the vapours.

    tho he can be funny in an extremely bitchy and catty way and also heavy as he's dying from cancer.

    i also read some sites and blogs that are often about ufos and crop circles and stuff along those lines, like the whitley streiber run 'unknown country' site. there's stuff i like more than others, like government secrecy and collaboration with nazis since wwII, etc. but there's plenty of stuff that nearly vaporizes me, too.

    --- On Sat, 7/4/09, Kevin Burton Smith <> wrote:

    > From: Kevin Burton Smith <>
    > Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Newsweek names "Fifty Books of Our Times"
    > To:
    > Date: Saturday, July 4, 2009, 2:06 PM
    > James wrote:
    > > Well, I said I liked the book. As a matter of fact, I
    > like most of
    > > P.D. James's books, especially A Taste For Death.
    > > But I think she is obviously riffing off of the
    > classic cozies of
    > > the Twenties and Thirties, and doing so in a very
    > literate and
    > > sometimes moving way. The only book I am familiar with
    > that
    > > approached HB was Innocent Blood which I also thought
    > was one of her
    > > least successful efforts.
    > Well, that sorta proves my point. Although on the surface
    > James and
    > Hammett may be worlds apart, there's obviously something
    > there that
    > would allow you to be a fan of both writers. Good writing?
    > And while James does indeed work in a more traditional,
    > Golden Age
    > vein, I'm pretty sure some of the viewpoints, characters
    > and crimes in
    > her work would give some of those twenties and thirties
    > cozy writers
    > and readers the vapours. Because that era's hard-boiled
    > school
    > influenced far more than just its most direct descendants
    > (Chandler,
    > et al). It influenced the entire mystery genre, including
    > of course AN
    > UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN, which focusses on a young
    > female private
    > eye who, although about as far from Sam Spade as
    > imaginable, still has
    > to deal with the legacy and expectations of her famous
    > predecessor and
    > the decidedly masculine hard-boiled school.
    > Hell, given Hammett's eclectic reading taste, he might have
    > well
    > recommended something even further afield than P.D. James.
    > Double hell, I'll bet a lot of us read stuff far beyond the
    > narrow
    > confines of the hard-boiled and noir sub-genres. In fact,
    > I'll bet
    > some of us read some seriously strange shit, fiction and
    > non-fiction,
    > that would give the rest of us the vapours.
    > Kevin
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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