RARA-AVIS: Re: Moratorium on serial murderer mysteries?

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 19 Aug 2010

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Clinton" <clinton65@...> wrote:
    > > From: rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com] On
    > > Behalf Of jacquesdebierue
    > > > I found Red Dragon far superior to Silence of the Lambs in this respect.
    > > >
    > >
    > > Me, too. With Silence of the Lambs, I was conscious of reading some sort
    > of
    > > concocted story with a super villain. Red Dragon felt more real.
    > I've heard that a number of times, and while I still believe SILENCE is the
    > better of the two for a number of reasons, I would agree that RED DRAGON is
    > itself a remarkable work and would probably immediately follow the three top
    > serial killer works I mentioned earlier (THE COLLECTOR, SILENCE OF... and BY
    > take up the fifth spot...but I haven't yet reconciled if it's as good as I
    > think it is or not.

    The problem is that somebody like Hannibal Lecter cannot exist. He's a fantasy. Perfectly acceptable as a fantasy story, but not as a realistic one. Dave Zeltserman, in his novel Bad Thoughts, went Harris one further and achieved what I suspect is a comic sendup of the entire genre.

    > Actually, I take that back...Ellroy can have the sixth spot. I just
    > remembered a terrific serial killer book: Bradley Denton's BLACKBURN. Loved
    > that book. Since BLACKBURN stretches the thematic confines of the serial
    > killer novel, I'll throw out another one that does as well and, like
    > BLACKBURN, is highly recommended: Westlake's THE AX. Like Jimmy Blackburn,
    > Westlake's protagonist kills for reasons that he sees as perfectly
    > legitimate...reasons that also become all too comprehensible for the reader.
    > For that reason, these latter two might be the most frightening books of the
    > bunch.

    I agree that The Ax is frightening because it is realistic. No fantasy there, just a pretty sensational revenge, you might say...



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