History lessons in The Hot Kid
Posted: 17 November 2006 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Joined  2006-08-03

Don’t know about you guys, but I was constantly scratching my head anytime Elmore threw in dates of different inventions or mentioned historical figures in The Hot Kid.  Can’t recall any specifics, but my own sense of late 19th/early 20th century history was shot all to hell anytime Elmore would mention a date in that book.  It seemed like he used a lot of artistic liberties, shall we say, with the dates of certain historical references he used.  That was my impression anyway, and I’ve yet to verify if his dates are correct or my recollection of them is just way out of whack.

And it wasn’t just historical dates that threw me, it was the back and forth of certian characters’ stories and ages that had me constantly doing math in my head to keep Elmore honest.  (Not that he would be off with his math, it’s just that some of the dates didn’t seem to add up at first.) 

Normally Elmore’s books don’t have that kind of effect on me.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m just sharing something that really seemed to keep me on my toes when I read that book.  It remains one of my favorite EL books.

Any of you guys have similar experiences with that book?

Posted: 18 November 2006 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Joined  2006-11-12

Well, I have to admit I went into The Hot Kid not knowing very much about the period at all. Most of my information came from Hollywood mvies, so I always thought it was a little suspect.

I found all the stuff about the oil money and the building of big houses really interesting, and the whole kind of atmosphere of strip clubs and gangters, and the way people’s lives were changing so quickly. I guess because of all the other books, I was willing to believe pretty much everything in The Hot Kid. You know, when it comes to gangsters and crime I figured it always goes on - especially where there’s lots of new money - and the “official” records always leave a lot out.

Certainly nothing jumped off the page for me as out of place.

Posted: 18 November 2006 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Joined  2006-10-20

I guess Gregg hasn’t read this thread yet or you’d get the rubber hose.  He might even be controlling himself better.  Do you really think the research for the book wasn’t as accurate and thorough as is normal for an EL book researched by Gregg?  I remember a conversation we had about tires and spare-parts needed to drive around then, so if such trivialities are worth getting right I’m sure the big things are even righter (unpolitically speaking).  Now there might be an error in an EL book, maybe accidental, but maybe not.  Sometimes license can be taken for the story for whatever reason.  I’ve watched Gregg in action for many years and I don’t think any other writer has a researcher who could do what Gregg does (bone to Gregg).  But, you ever have a friend who won’t believe a thing you tell ‘em without researching ten additional sources to backup your comment?  He really keeps his friends on their toes.  It’s fun to tell him something just totally outrageously wrong and have him start spewing the correct info as an automaton reflex-action since he’s online with Lexis-Nexis as we’re talking just waiting to pounce.  The clickety-clack of his Mac keyboard means you’re in for some hell.

Posted: 19 November 2006 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  608
Joined  2005-01-10

If anybody wants to challenge some reference or date in a book I’ve researched, that’s fine.  I strive to give Elmore the most accurate history there is.  F!reverb refers to the fact that Elmore may chose to be accurate or fudge a little.  That’s his poetic choice.  Wait until you read Up in Honey’s Room.

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