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

From: Patrick King (
Date: 16 Dec 2009

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    Not really. Bart Simson's been eight-years-old for 20 years now. The folks we're talking about have more in common with Bart than they do with Mann's von Aschenbach. I think if you're reading one of these books and are concerned about the protagonist's age, the writer has most likely failed to come up with a good plot.

    Patrick King

    --- On Tue, 12/15/09, Dick Lochte <> wrote:

    From: Dick Lochte <> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re:Dick Francis recur'g char's: TV [was: has this been doen before?] To: Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 1:43 PM



          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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