RE: RARA-AVIS: Where have you gone Rara-Avis (Brewer)

From: Ron Clinton (
Date: 12 Jul 2010

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    I'll throw in my comment along with the others for conversation...

    I just read Gil Brewer's MEMORY OF PASSION (Lancer, 1962, pbo), and I can now safely say -- and with not a little amount of regret -- I know precisely where Brewer's decline began.

    I was really looking forward to this novel since it's the Brewer that's evaded me for some time, but it was a disappointment on many levels. The decline into alcoholism, hackwork and sleaze porn hindsight, MEMORY painfully foreshadows all that's to come. 'Course, even judged on its own merits in a contextual vacuum, it's a slogging mess...and you won't find a much bigger fan of Brewer than me.

    The decline in quality from his brilliant '50s novels to MEMORY is stunning; I can't think of another pbo author whose decline parallels (let alone exceeds) the degree to which Brewer fell. Some come close, perhaps (Goodis comes to mind, as does Woolrich), but none reach Brewer's extreme.

    Ron C.

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