With Regards to Rebus
Now that EXIT MUSIC is in stores in the UK, the media over there is all Rebus, all the time (the Rap Sheet has a good roundup of links to look at.) The latest piece is from the Telegraph and written by Stuart Kelly, normally the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday. There’s enough about the book in question but of course, talk turns to whether Rebus is finished or not:
Will Rebus return? At the start of the interview,
Rankin says that he’s "not 100 per cent sure" he’ll do another Rebus
novel. Later, he clarifies this position. "It would depend on two
things. Does the theme and the plot need these characters, and do I
still have anything interesting to say about Rebus? Are there still
parts of his character that I want to explore? I get the feeling in the
back of my mind that there’s still quite a lot I don’t know about him."
quite self-critical about his early works, reminiscing that Rebus once
quoted Whitman: "I thought that’s me, that’s not him. There’s no way he
would have ever read Walt Whitman. In the first couple of books there
was a lot of me, the post-grad student, peeking through."
is certain is that he will keep writing novels. "The reason writers
keep on writing even when they don’t need the money and don’t need the
acclaim is that they haven’t yet written the perfect book. Each book
you produce is another small failure."
Now, I know the “will Rebus return?” is a great hook for Q&As, but let’s remember something: Ian Rankin is 47 years old. Younger than many writers with only a handful of books, if not a single book under their belts. And who’s to say that 50 years from now we might remember Rankin best for the books he wrote after the Rebus novels, which may be viewed as a prelude to said work?
Which is my way of saying that I wish the hoopla would die down. I understand it, I can analyze it, but I’m much more anxious to see the evolution of Ian Rankin, writer than the continuation of Ian Rankin, franchise.