RARA-AVIS: Re: 1001 Midnights

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 14 Jul 2009

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    > Hi everyone. I just checked out '1001 Midnights' from my local
    > library, I've been wanting to take a look at it for years. Its
    > undoubtably fascinating and the editors really know their stuff, but
    > I gotta say that I found some of the choices ( or rather, lack of
    > them ) quite surprising. For example Fredric Brown gets four
    > entries, not that I;m not saying he wasn't a fine writer, but
    > someone like Eddie Bunker isn't even mentioned, I mean how can you
    > leave out 'No Beast So Fierce'! Other writers that aren't
    > included.....Edward Anderson, Eric Knight, Charles Willeford (!),
    > Robert Edmond Alter, Ted Lewis and James Ellroy ( the book came out
    > in 1986 so how about 'Brown's Requiem'?) and loads more............

    At the time, Ellroy was just getting started, and as much as I enjoyed BROWN'S REQUIEM, at the time it didn't seem like the arrival of a major new voice.

    > Has anyone got any opinions on this matter or read the book ?

    Some great, insightful stuff there -- particularly on some of the more obscure writers from the thirties and forties -- but there's a certain amount of cliquey, mutual back scratching going on when you get into the seventies and eighties. Which is probably to be expected, and it's fine, really -- this ain't no democracy, after all; it's critical opinion. And some fine, knowledgeable opinions at that from people who really love and know their stuff, with even the hinkiest, most questionable opinions rarely descending into brainless blurbery or churlish sour grapes. Well, mostly.

    Big Suprise: Editor Bill likes Editor Marcia's books. And editor Marcia likes Editor Bill's books.

    Kevin Burton Smith Editor/Founder The Thrilling Detective Web Site
    "Wasting your time on the web since 1998."

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