Trust; Victories Analysis
by George V. Higgins

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Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Both novels illustrate Higgins's characteristic strengths: his use of vernacular language, his use of dialogue, his use of artfully natural narrative digressions and anecdotes, his sense of humor. In addition, Trust offers a satisfying criminal plot and a distinctive thematic coherence.

Because they are "companion" novels sharing some characters and transpiring at the same time, there is, additionally, the interesting element of a parallax view of events. Some of the parallels and connections have been mentioned. One more might be noted: At the end of Trust, as he deals with Earl's miscalculated attempt at blackmail, Allen Simmons learns of Ed Cobb's improper intervention to conceal Earl's record; at the end of Victories, Congressman Wainwright makes the same discovery. Both men might use the knowledge to advantage, Simmons to manipulate Earl, Wainwright to embarrass Cobb and Briggs. For different reasons, neither does. Higgins clearly intends readers to draw the contrast between the two situations. The device of "companion" novels thus permits Higgins to achieve new levels of narrative reference and resonance.

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The principal precedents of Trust and Victories are those of Wonderful Years, Wonderful Years (1988). Proletarian criminals continue to seed Higgins's plots; his main concerns remain character and language and the theme of power.