RARA-AVIS: RE: Gil Brewer

From: David Wilson (boiledoverbooksn@yahoo.com)
Date: 31 May 2010

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    In 1969 Gil Brewer said: "There's an element of crime and sex in every piece of writing, from Mother Goose to the Bible."

    I'm not going to offer any quotations but I think it can be very interesting to see how a good, or even a once-good writer can handle scenes and situations at different moments of their careers. Sometimes you wish you could pick and choose among these rewrites to come up with your own favorite novel. My friend Niven Busch always maintained that you can learn more of a writer's style from their lesser moments than their triumphs.

    More Than A Handful, a Beeline by Luke Morgann, begins as a rewrite of The Three-Way Split (1960), one of Brewer's best. If you have a biographical interest in these writers, as I do, this is a great source of curiosity and discovery, even if it is mixed with sadness. This was not the last time that Brewer would resort to a rewrite, during those unfortunate years.

    In the fifties Brewer could insinuate more sex in one or two lines than in a whole novel fifteen or twenty years later. Despite the pseudonyms, Brewer did not disavow this period in his writing.

    David Laurence Wilson


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