Thursday, January 8, 2015
The Way Some People Read
Peter Quinones has a blog he calls Postmodern Deconstruction Madhouse, an academic in-joke if there ever was one. Here he shares with readers a variety of essays and presentations he has made or plans to make at American Library Association conferences. He has discussed Shakespeare's Macbeth, Saul Bellow, John Updike and most recently and at length the work of Ross Macdonald.
He has come up with a checklist of recurring themes, motifs and conceits in the Lew Archer novels and in his reading he applies them as they occur (or don't) and writes up his impressions. So far he has covered The Moving Target (Archer's debut in print), The Drowning Pool, Black Money and most recently The Way Some People Die which inspired the title of this post. Quinones considers this last book he's reviewed the best of the Archer novels. Bet he hasn't read The Chill or The Galton Case yet.
We always seem to be talking about detective novel tropes on the vintage mystery blogs whether we use the literary term or not. And I know that I'm always looking for writers who subvert those tropes of the traditional detective novel and private eye novel. Those are the crime fiction writers who most appeal to me, whether they are firmly rooted in the past and were trying to reinvent the genre or are contemporary writers blazing new trails. But for anyone interested in this type of literary criticism in detective fiction I highly recommend you trot off to Peter's blog and read his essays. I enjoyed them a lot.