Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bring 'em Back... Alive


Over at Ransom Notes I'm getting into Dennis Lehane's new one, Moonlight Mile, being the rolling jumpstart of the Kenzie/Gennaro series after twelve years. And it's got me wondering: where's it headed? Where are they going? What's happened in the interim? I've sounded off a couple times lately about the downfall of a good series being longevity, (sorry Ken, sorry Jim), but I dunno? A fifth book after more than a decade? I can dig that, especially given the nature of the series leading up to it. Meaning, the series played kinda like long-form television where the case du jour was not the point as much as the characters and their development over the course of the series. And c'mon, the end of Gone, Baby, Gone? Strong. So, yeah, I'm on board. Hell, one of my favorite series did the same thing a few years back. Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther returned for a fourth, (fifth and sixth), book ten years after the amazing Berlin Noir trilogy had wrapped. And it turned out, ol' Bernie had more baggage to haul. Sheesh, if you thought he was a mess before the war, give him a few years to marinate in the collective and personal guilt he bears for his people and then turn him loose on some Nazi fucks hiding out in South America. Yeah. I'm there, again.

So, now I'm wondering... are there some more series that could/should be resurrected after a period of dormancy? Typically, these things reek of a cash-out, but occasionally there's a good reason to trot out the old gray mare, preferably a character retired before they wore out their welcome, but even one that was driven into the dust is eligible for a retooling, a reinvention and a new life.

Who's got a suggestion? Anyone? Bueller?

6 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't mind a return after a long absence but only if it's from the original writer.

jedidiah ayres said...

You have any examples?

Kent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kent said...

My spelling needs work.

Anyway, I'd be up for more Fender novels from Jesse Sublett or more Shade novels from Woodrell.

jedidiah ayres said...

More Shade novels, huh? Of course, I'd read stereo instructions that the man wrote, but damn, I thought The Ones You Do really capped that series nicely. Please work on that spelling.

Heath said...

Never been a fan of series myself (with a few exceptions) but I think Westlake returning to Stark and pumping out a few more Parker novels was a good idea-- Parker maybe mellowed a little (a dame'll do that to ya) but the stories still rolled right to the end of the run.