Why George V. Higgins but not Ross Thomas?
I base these remarks on Thomas' Missionary Stew, which appeared in 1983, thirteen years after The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and that's where the caveat comes in. Though an experienced novelist by the time ... Eddie Coyle appeared, could Thomas have been influenced by the younger writer, the way the similarly older, more experienced Elmore Leonard was?
I ask because the three previous Thomas novels I had read (Cast a Yellow Shadow, The Seersucker Whipsaw, and The Fools in Town Are on Our Side) either predate The Friends of Eddie Coyle or appeared the same year, and I don't remember those books bringing Higgins or Leonard to mind.
Though I don't get the esteem in which Higgins was held, I have no desire to knock him. But I would like to see a revival of interest in Thomas, and not just because he wrote with such wit about politics.
I'd hate to think that readers and critics might be scared off by Thomas because he wrote about politics. Don't be; he makes his subject real and funny/
© Peter Rozovsky 2015