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?
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 15 Dec 2009 EST