RARA-AVIS: Re:Dick Francis recur'g char's: TV [was: has this been doen before?]

From: Dick Lochte (dlochte@gmail.com)
Date: 15 Dec 2009

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    The mention of Francis' Sid Halley novels reminds me of the old question of what to do about the aging of series characters. Parker has aged Spenser. Spillane eventually aged Hammer. James Lee Burke ages Robicheaux. Ditto Larry Block and Scudder. Actually, they don't just age, they change. Even Hammer, who, in his last novels, perhaps because of Max Allan Collins' influence, seems much more human and humane, grumping about his creaking bones, enjoying dining out at chi-chi restaurants, visiting the symphony and, gasp, actually marrying his secretary. That all works for me. I realize that, in the so-called golden age, characters like Nero and Archie or Ellery Queen remained the same age more or less, during their long runs. That didn't particularly bother me, maybe because I was reading the complete series during a short period of time and the socio-political and technological changes weren't that obvious. But Halley was missing in action for about twenty very life-changing years (I'm going from memory here; might be longer). So I was put off a little to discover that, though he returned in contemporary England (cel phones, etc.), he was still the same age and was apparently otherwise untouched by world changes. Does this character stuff bother anybody else?

    Dick L.

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