Re: RARA-AVIS: Big Book of Noir

William F. Limbacher (
Wed, 11 Nov 1998 07:36:37 -0600 Obviously I've somehow joined the Ed Gorman fan club. My
comments on *The Big Book of Noir* were directed to readers,
not folks who look at a table of contents and say, "Wow."
Almost all of these articles are about the lives of the writers. I
apparently am alone in not caring about the lives of the writers,
only their books. I expected critical essays, like those in the
film section of the book, instead Mr. Gorman has chosen, for
example, a really depressing article about the last days of
Cornell Woolrich followed quickly my an article entitled "My
Friend Frederick Brown." Bill Pronzini's contribution is, as
always, excellent, and I enjoyed Bill Crider's, too. But then take
a look at Ed Gorman's contributions. A listing of lesser-known
pulp writers which doesn't include much more than their names,
and an interview with John D. MacDonald that's just
embarrassing. Ed Gorman, "Does Travis have any secrets we
should know about?" Mr. MacDonald, "Nope." Ed Gorman, "Will
you describe a typical day for Travis when he's eighty-five?" Mr.
MacDonald, clearly wishing he were somewhere else, "Nope."
Now what kind of editor would leave those questions and
answers in the published interview?

For twenty bucks, the film section is a little overpriced, and
you'd be hardpressed to find anything about the noir comics
anywhere else, but don't buy the book for the fiction section --
it sucks.



William F. Limbacher
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