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Ghost of a Flea (A Lew Griffin novel) Paperback – January 10, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
Book 6 of 6 in the Lew Griffin Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The enigmatic saga of the likable New Orleans private eye Lew Griffin draws to a satisfyingly convoluted closure in this sixth and final installment. Evoking a stark metaphysical landscape where time hovers on the verge of midnight and the sky is pregnant with rain, Sallis (Eye of the Cricket; Bluebottle; etc.) explores similar concerns over identity and the role of the detective as those found in Paul Auster's New York Trilogy. In what is sure to become an equally classic set of novels, he keeps it closer to the everyday with the very human exploits of Griffin and a detailed use of the streets and characters of the Delta City. But Sallis pushes the poetry of noir further than Auster and most other practitioners with such images as "another of society's makeshift facsimiles of dreams, rags and tatters of movies, media, popular literature, this new mythology, that my homeless soul had taken for its own and worn into the street." As Griffin faces his own mortality, his son is once again missing, and a cop friend is shot during a robbery; but these crime elements seem merely ornamental the big action sequence actually centers on pigeon-killers. Readers who enjoy more average PI novels may find Sallis's highly allusive style a bit much, but fans of particularly sophisticated writing will love the experience of being drawn deeper and deeper into circles of narrative complexity. Agent, the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency. (Jan. 10)(Forecasts, Jan. 8).

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This stirring series finale examines various father-and-son-like relationships. Black New Orleans private detective Lew Griffin is searching for his son, David, who has drifted away from home again; one of Lew's acquaintances, a man in a park, has been taking care of a mentally disturbed child who gets ill after the pigeons he feeds are poisoned; and Lew's comrade Don, a retired detective, takes home the teenaged robber who shot him. Meanwhile, Alouette, another acquaintance of Lew and a new mother, has been threatened at work, and police discover a mutilated body carrying David's wallet. This stimulating mix of evocative imagery, learned literate references, earthy observations, and philosophical/existential speculations mark an unusual detective's swan song. Strongly recommended for all mystery collections; Sallis is also a poet, critic, and author of Chester Himes: A Life. [Walker is also reissuing in paperback the first novel in the series, The Long-Legged Fly, currently out of print. Ed.]
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Lew Griffin novel
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press (January 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901982955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901982954
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,256,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Charlotte Vale-Allen VINE VOICE on January 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a long-time fan of the Lew Griffin series--some of the books are positively radiant, some get rather bogged down in sentimentality. But Sallis always writes exquisitely; his use of language is never less than beautiful. In order to make any sense at all of Ghost of a Flea, it's important to have read the previous books. Without those frames of reference, this book maunders along. It's a bit like reading in a roomful of candles that flicker if there's even the hint of a breeze. Yet every so often the air is still and the candle flames grow bright and what has been written springs to life, conjuring scenes and characters that are fully three-dimensional. Other times, it's difficult to follow the narrative thread. Past and present intermingle; characters are presented almost in the assumption that the reader is already aware of their context and therefore none is presented--which is why I think it's so important to have read the preceding books before approaching this one. Things happen seemingly at random; there are small mysteries to be solved, but they are secondary to the anthologies, the footnotes of Griffin's thoughts. This book is worth reading for the complex beauty of its language, but does not stand alone without the five companion books to assist in identifying the characters, their histories, and their ultimate impact on the central character. This is not a traditional mystery in any way. But it is very much worth reading for those moments when the light is full and everything suddenly springs to life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Salis is quirky and you have to take him at his word when he says character development is more important than plot. This book was like a train, slowly picking up speed until the finish flashed by and left me wishing the ride was a lot longer. Sallis is a bloody genius, but in his own, very individual way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
. . . than this. The previous reviewers are much more eloquent than I, so I'll just say that having discovered this author through his newer works, I read this series start-to-finish, and am dumfounded that I never heard of these books. This guy is the real deal, folks. This is WRITING!!!
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