Farris and Gardner - information
I decided to try to put this housecleaning to an end today. I'm gonna skip over both Mary Stewart and Joseph Heller, both of whom do not lack for a presence on the web. (I'm all for discipline, but one must engage one's common sense at points, anyway.)
Again, my take on Stewart is that The Crystal Cave is a fine book but the trilogy steadily loses interest from there; and my take on Heller is that Catch-22 is a great classic but to my mind something of an intellectually dishonest book, while Something Happened, while nowhere near Catch-22's class, is more likable, in some strange ways.
For Mr. Farris. I understand they're going to remake The Fury. I gotta see the original one of these days.
Here's his website, which doesn't look like it's been updated in awhile. Interestingly favorable piece from David Schow -- as always, I'm amazed at the people who plump for this guy.
Here's a piece from the esteemable Mystery File:
In answer to why nobody's ever heard of Farris, well, he kinda sucks, Mr. Lewis. And honestly your review is well meaning, but suggests a lot of special pleading here, too.
This is an interesting piece from Crider on Farris's early stuff. One of these novels will be republished by Hard Case -- I'll probably check it out because I'm an idiot, but, well, my expectations are low.
As for Gardner, there's stuff online about him, but I felt like digging for some info on what I think is easily his best book, The Sunlight Dialogues.
Here's something from NPR. I didn't click the link, but apparently you can hear Gardner's son read a passage from the book:
Here's a wise man agreeing with me as to Sunlight's qualities:
This is an extremely nice piece on the novel, suffering only from an odd willingness to be taken in by the Sunlight Man's folderol. Part of the point of the book, after all, is that underneath the two extremes of Clumly and the Sunlight Man lies only chaos, and that's true even if you are a hippie taking it to the man. Outside of this odd blind spot, though, this is a very nice piece, particularly good at pointing out how well everyone's sketched in the novel. (An aspect of the book not well known, for some reason -- it's extraordinarily readable.)
Another nice quote from the book: