Clive James on Crime

In his effort to cover all forms of cultural experience, Clive James has taken a look at crime fiction in an article in the "New Yorker". It's a strange beast of a thing - starting by slagging off Henry James as being a tad lacking on the story and plot front, then running a rule over a variety of fictional detectives, from Rankin's Rebus, to Leon's Commissario Brunetti, Dibdin's Inspector Zen, and Mankell's Wallander. He praises and criticises by turns and, just when you think he's about to say something sensible, he comes up with this: "No matter how carefully depicted, whether by the omniscient author or by themselves looking at length into their shaving mirrors, these maverick detectives are too consistent to be true characters." And then he turns back to James where "The real adventure, less gripping but far more memorable, is waiting to begin again.." Which proves, yet again, that most critics don't understand the need for a balanced diet - whether it be food or fiction.

[Thanks to Peter at the "Detectives Beyond Borders" weblog for the link.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 30, 2007 10:11 PM.

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