Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: John D.

From: Patrick King (
Date: 20 Oct 2009

  • Next message: Bill Crider: "RARA-AVIS: John D. MacDonald"

    Well, first of all let me say that I got pretty tired of detective stories some time ago, so that kind of knocks a lot of Leonard out for me ( I like his old westerns better). That's not a slam on folks who love detective stories, by the way, I just have read enough of them. I think I liked them less after I started practicing law and got to know more cops and P.I.s. I like Thompson more every time I pick one up, though.


    Has Elmore Leonard ever written a detective story? I can't think of any book of his that would really fit that genre type.


    I love the amoral creep in High Priest precisely because he may be so un-selfaware. And are you really sure that he doesn't know what a creep he is? I think he maybe does, but I'm not sure - and I love that level of ambiguity and irony. Besides, no one trumps Thompson when it comes to "paens to sociopaths". How can you slag Willeford and praise Nothing More Than Murder or Pop. 1280? For me, Willford is like Thompson on steroids though I will allow that Thompson is actually the better writer - usually.


    POP 1280 is a comic story about how difficult it is to be an honest law man in the US of A. Nick Corey BECOMES amoral to survive and his antics are outlandish hyperbole. More significant is Lou Ford in WILD TOWN and THE KILLER INSIDE ME. Ford is a sociopath in a position of power over people. To me, both of these books are more thought provoking than HIGH PRIEST. I think Haxby does know what a creep he is, but he's come to the conclusion that successful people ARE creeps. He believes his behavior is the way people get ahead, although what he gets out of meddling in a poor woman's life, is beyond me. She wasn't even a good lay. I don't mind evil stories. Sad pointless stories are a bummer.

    Patrick King


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