Re: RARA-AVIS: Daly, hacks, padding, etc.

Mario Taboada (
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 10:11:00 +0000 Michael Sharp:

<<Spent yesterday trying (w/ my students) to figure out the popularity
Carroll John Daly. Editor of Black Mask Boys (William F. Nolan) trashes
him even as he asserts his place at the origin of the hardboiled
phenomenon. My kids absolutely (and hilariously) tore Daly apart. Of
course they'd just started reading Maltese Falcon, which can make even
competent writing look hack by comparison>>

There's no dobut that Daly was the ultimate hack - but he was a _great_
hack. Despite his maladroit and unruly prose and his heavy-handedness,
one cannot deny that the man had _voice_ and knew how to keep things
moving. More than a current celebrity writer, including the awfully
tedious Elizabeth George, could take lessons from Daly in this latter

Is anyone else tired of padded-out novels that stretch thin material (or
material that would be good only for a short story) into four- or
five-hundred page tracts? I get the impression that much of the public
that reads mysteries feels cheated when an author (honestly) keeps a
novel short and to the point. Good models for this are W. C. Gault,
Joseph Hansen, Charles Willeford, Harold Adams, K.C. Constantine, James


Mario Taboada
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