RARA-AVIS: Willeford Books

From: xrglman (filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 28 Jul 2010

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    > As to Willeford, I read MIAMI BLUES and loved it. So I rushed out and got THE WOMAN CHASER, HIGH PRIEST OF CALIFORNIA,HONEY GAL,and WILD WIVES. Everyone of these had basically the same plot line. Most of the protagonists were used car salesmen. They all had as their main objective in life to draw some perfectly ordinary woman into their lives and make her completely miserable.

    Indeed, Willeford's early books featured several sleazy used car salesmen doing shady dealings. They're Willeford's attempt at writing what he knew and finding his voice. Out of those THE WOMAN CHASER is the culmination of all of his blackly humorous, sleazy used car salesmen ideas distilled into one dynamite book. But to say Willeford only wrote about used car salesmen is like saying Thompson only wrote about psychopaths in Willefords later books show more range and skill. BURNT ORANGE HERESY is about an investigative art critic. THE DIFFERENCE is a post-modern western. And THE COCKFIGHTER is THE ODYSSEY of cockfighting novels, and a completely original book. And of course the other Hoke Moseley novels are terrific police detective oddities, as they're not procedurals and they're not really mysteries either.

    Willeford was never interested in traditional plots or genre writing. The true joy I have found in Willeford's books is the mordant wit, the pitch black sense of humor and the menagerie of bizarre psychos and losers drawn from his real life experiences.

    I recommend reading more of his books.


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