Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: David Peace

Date: 31 May 2010

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    I thought Tokyo Ground Zero a fascinating depiction of the disruption by war of everyday lives and values. Especially important given the history of the first half of the 20th century, and the US into the second half, a period I have lived more than any other. I don't mind a stylistic challenge as long as it's not boring. Anyway, I read Peace, and will read more, as a result of earlier comments here on RARA, probably something written by Joy. Maybe not, but my point would be the changing role of criticism

    I don't think people value critics as much as in the past. Maybe it's the creeping information age, with entertainment an expanding part of experience and quick evaluation preferred, but I get the impression (possibly the wrong impression) that one critic is valued pretty much like the next, rather than sampled and possibly cultivated. At one time I used to read a few criticisms of the latest movie or book etc. and gradually came to trust the word of those whose tastes reflected my own. Sometimes I would find that a particular critic disliked something for reasons that I had enjoyed previous works, and I would make allowances. This process required a little more than a thumbs up or down evaluation, or a clever dismissal by the critic.

    Best, Kerry

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Joy Matkowski
      Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2010 4:06 PM
      Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: David Peace

      Exactly what I meant, John, and these are very strong books---not books
      to be read by anyone feeling morose.
      But the review reads like dull literary fiction that a marketer has
      labeled "thriller" to boost sales.

      On 5/30/2010 3:31 PM, John wrote:
    > Well quite. The willingness of people here to judge one of the very few genuinely important (if, on occasion, over-ambitious) contemporary crime writers on the basis of a few brief snippets chosen by the critic to make particular points is profoundly depressing. Anyway, unless I too have misunderstood Joy's initial post, her point was not that the review dissuaded her from reading Peace, but that, if she had not already read Peace, then the review would have put her off. Which is a very different statement. It's an interesting review but off-putting indeed and lacking a certain understanding of just what the political situation in Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s was like. Also to suggest that the Red Riding Quartet lacks grief is frankly nuts. The books are saturated in grief.


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