RARA-AVIS: A Footnote - Woolrich and Bardin

EJM Duggan (ejmd@cwcom.net)
Sun, 04 Apr 1999 10:41:33 +0000 On Sat, 3 Apr 1999, "pabergin" <pabergin@gte.net> wrote:

> Does anyone else out there get the feeling that CW is becoming the
> James Joyce of hardboiled/noir? By this I mean that he is more
> discussed than read. I've been getting these vibes
> for awhile now.

To which BaxDeal@aol.com replied:

> now I'm really going out on a limb here, but Cornell Woolrich puts
> me to sleep.

I don't know about more discussed than read--maybe that's always the
case with dead writers whose back catalogue is out of print?--but I've
recently gotten hold of a copy of the _Nightwebs_ collection. Thus far
I've only read the first story, 'Graves for the Living', a premature
burial caper. *Very* Edgar Allen Poe.

There are all sorts of criticisms that can be levelled at Woolrich
(absurd plots, ludicrous coincidences, tortuously long winded and
excessive prose style--why use eight words when twenty four will do?).
He can be difficult to read, but despite all of those criticisms, there
is something in there that is intriguing/entertaining. Maybe Bax has
tried a couple and given up on CW--an easy thing to do, especially when
there's so much else on the TBR pile...

["pabergin" <pabergin@gte.net>]:

> Also, as a newcomer to the list who is far too lazy to dig into the
> archives I ask. Has there ever been a discussion here of the work
> of John Franklin Bardin? I had some problems with BLUE TAIL FLY, but
> think that THE DEADLY PERCHERON is wonderful.

I don't recall any discussion.
There's a 3-novel compilation of Bardin's, including BTF that's been
around the bottom of my TBR pile for some time now...



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