Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All In

I read 12 chapters on the way to Reno and I feel like I'm supposed to meet Crane in the lounge. Needless to say, I'm not getting out of bed until I can make a good omen out of the dots on the ceiling.

The first thing that struck me about the book is how Powers gets so close to the gambling culture.  I guess every good author must research his material.  But how can a person, any person, be saturated in a subject (of questionable morals) and not be consumed.  I kept thinking about how a cop goes deep under cover in a gang in order to work a sting.

Other than that, it's an interesting read.  Much different than my usual fair.


trawlerman said...

"But how can a person, any person, be saturated in a subject (of questionable morals) and not be consumed."

This is something I think about a lot. I think that the difference between "saturation" and "consumption" is mostly one of perspective and relative standing in regard to the "subject."

What's interesting to me in your "sting" example is that the cop lies and participates in the behavior that he is sent to stop, in order to catch his prey. I've never liked the idea of cops doing this. It seems to me like an "ends justify the means" sort of situation, which is a position that I'll never accept.

Writers, on the other hand, do not have to participate directly in immoral behavior to research and write about immoral behavior.

Matt said...

"It is not always wrong even to go, like Dante, to the brink of the lowest promontory and look down at hell. It is when you look up at hell that a serious miscalculation has probably been made."

I laughed out loud when I read that. I guess position is of the essence.
I think that's fare to say (provided it's said fairly).

Mike & Mary said...

Thanks for the Dante quote.

My thought is that the Bible is full of both saints and scoundrels. It is full of extremely evil deeds.

Jdg 19:29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

Now when we read the Bible, does it leave us wanting to commit the same atrocities? Not me. But it does leave me saying how gross human nature can be. Having read all of "Drawing of the Dark" and now 200 pages of this, I would say that powers leaves me wanting to be the hero and be against the evil characters.

He also leaves me believing that I could be a hero even though I too am a sinner.

I have read (or started to read) a few excerpts from Stephen King for example. The evil is much more sickening they are, but without any redemption or desire to do good left of the reader. Huge difference.