Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: are authors the best judge of their work?

From: Patrick King (
Date: 29 Nov 2009

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    Patrick King:

    Here's some of what I wrote on Blood's a Rover after I finished it.

    "...because Blood's a Rover isn't centered around huge historical events, it pales in scope in comparison to its predecessors. It feels more like a postscript to American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand rather than the culmination of events that began in the first book, which is what the conclusion of a properly structured trilogy should be. The following is not meant as a quality judgment but rather a comment on where it falls in the narrative and its relative importance: Blood's a Rover is to American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand what After MASH is to M*A*S*H."

    I thought it was a fine novel on its own (although I'm not sure some of the character development, Tedrow in particular, made sense), but, yeah, it just wasn't big enough to end an epic trilogy.

    I may well appreciate it more when I do a second reading some years from now. That certainly happened with The Cold Six Thousand.



    Well, Trent, we disagree. First off, to call the 1968 election, the disruption of the Democratic Convention in Chicago as a reaction to the murder of Robert Kennedy, the development of black militancy on the one hand and the neo Nazi movement on the other, the escalation of the Vietnam War, culminating in the Watergate break-in during the '72 election process, and the removal of a President from office, as less than huge historical events makes me wonder, what has to happen to be a huge historical event in your opinion? Nothing like those have happened since and they certainly seemed huge at the time. As Dwight promised Karen, "No one dies!" Which, of course, wasn't true, nor could it be. BLOOD'S A ROVER is what happens to men who make very poor choices for the best, most logical reasons. It's the reaction to the action in the earlier novels, a cautionary tale about greed, ambition, and love. As such, it's superb. What more could you ask of it?

    Patrick King


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