Re: RARA-AVIS: Gores's Spade and Archer

From: James Michael Rogers (
Date: 18 Jun 2010

  • Next message: sonny: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Gores's Spade and Archer"

    As you say, it was gratuitous. He is half right - it is easy to imitate Chandler, just as it is easy to imitate Hemingway, but it is hard to do either one well. I think only Ross MacDonald really could pull the Chandeleresque thing off. I like Ellroy quite a bit, but I don't believe he is ever going to write a book as fine as Farewell, My Lovely.

    I see this as one more installment in the ongoing and eternal comparison of Chandler and Hammett's virtues. No doubt we all have our opinion but, at a certain point, it becomes kind of silly in the Joe DiMaggio v. Ted Williams sense.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Patrick Kennedy
      Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 18:11
      Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Gores's Spade and Archer

      Was anyone else here rendered less than gruntled by Ellroy's review of "Spade and Archer" during which he gratuitously seizes, or creates, an opportunity to take a sideswipe at Chandler? Chandler, apparently, is a 'florid gasbag' who is 'easy to imitate'. Oh really? Then how come Robert B Parker failed so badly at it, and even Chandler himself couldn't quite manage it towards the very end of his career?
      There seems to be quite a bit of resentment around amongst certain crime writers towards Chandler: a begrudging of his place in crime writing history and the critical literary acclaim which came his way, and still does, while it frequently eludes - most unjustifiably, to my mind - most practitioners of the genre.
      I think what Chandler possessed more than any other quality in the best of his writing was poetry, heart and personality. Maybe Ellroy doesn't think you need these qualities much if you're a crime writer, but I'm damned glad Chandler had them, and in such gifted and entertaining abundance.


      From: Harry Joseph Lerner <>
      To: "" <>
      Sent: Fri, 18 June, 2010 20:56:57
      Subject: RE: RARA-AVIS: Gores's Spade and Archer

      I just finished it too (and only a year and a half after first picking it up!) I whole-heartedly agree that it was a terrific read! I particularly liked the way Gores worked in the Flitcraft parable as a kind of jumping off point for the story. And, no I haven't given anything away by saying that!

      From: [] On Behalf Of Stephen Burridge []
      Sent: June 18, 2010 1:35 PM
      Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Gores's Spade and Archer

      OK... I have been hesitating, I will go for it. Thanks.

      Stephen Burridge

      On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM, jacquesdebierue

    > I finally got around to reading this one... superb book. I didn't look, but
    > I am sure that some reviewers had reservations regarding this sort of
    > project, but Gores did a great job, the book stands on its own, and there is
    > no feeling of pastiche. Gores managed to convey the same extreme clarity
    > that Hammett's writing had --but then, Gores has that clarity in his "own"
    > work, so it's not surprising. If you were hesitating, go for it. This is a
    > very fine classic hardboiled novel.
    > Best,
    > mrt
    > ------------------------------------
    > RARA-AVIS home page:
    > Yahoo! Groups Links

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