Sunday, March 04, 2007


I watched a very interesting interview with Ian Rankin last night on BBC4.
I think it went a lot of the way to explaining the bleakness and despair in the character of John Rebus.
I do have a lot more respect for Rankin, and the struggles a writer has to go through after watching the interview. In fact I feel a bit guilty at not liking Rebus more, because Rankin's first real success with the novel Black and Blue was achieved at the time he discovered his second child had "special needs".
His ability to exorcise his anger on the written page, with the character of John Rebus is probably very cathartic.
I will probably read more of Ian Rankin.

Ian Rankin joins Carlo Lucarelli, and David Liss, as PhD students who started a thesis, which they never finished because they wrote a crime novel instead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive read all of the Rebus novels except the most recent, and I have enjoyed them all. One or two are weaker than the others, but the overall standard is high. I've also read Rankin's earlier, pre-Rebus novels, which were re-released a few years ago to "cash in". They aren't worth the bother in my opinion.
But I think you will enjoy getting better acquainted with the old boy.
BTW I have now bought the first of the A. C. books on the basis of your recommendation.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Maxine, I have read Strip Jack, Resurrection Men, Fleshmarket Close, but not his latest. I will certainly take your advice about the pre-Rebus novels. I am struggling to find any reading time at the moment, because we are having a new bathroom and kitchen installed in a couple of weeks. Bringing everything together and making sure the firms know what they are supposed to do is exhausting.
I do hope you enjoy Camilleri.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The one book of Liss's that I've read just breathes learning and does so without being obtrusive.

Re Rankin, it's hard to associate the word struggle with what he does since he's been successful for so long. And I thought he laid the bleakness, despair and trauma-as-explanation on too thickly in Knots and Crosses.

I also thought Black and Blue lacked subordination. Rankin treated too many things in equal detail and at equal length. That's not a feature I'd have associated with anger.


Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

9:41 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And at least relatively successful from so early an age as well: first novel published years before he was thirty, awards for lifetime achievement well before he turns fifty. All writers should have to go through that!

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

2:49 AM  

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