RARA-AVIS: _They Shoot Horses, Don't They?_

William Denton (buff@pobox.com)
Sun, 18 Jul 1999 22:19:52 -0400 (EDT)

I thought I'd get things back on topic by going back to this book. Surely some other people have read it and have something to say?

I was surprised by how short it is. It can easily be read in one short, depressing sitting. The book is a grim one. Boy with no money, who wants to be a director, meets girl who wants to be dead. Nothing much good has happened to either of them, and nothing good does happen before the book ends. They sign up for a dance marathon and go for 45 days, keeping in motion 50 minutes of every hour, and once a day having to suffer a short race around the floor. It's pretty much a succession of events going from bad to worse that end up with boy putting girl out of her misery, by shooting her at her request. (Hence the title.)

Maybe someone has some ideas about the killer who gets arrested and other events in the book, giving some lit crit analysis. I think I'll reread the book and might say something, but in the meantime, I encourage people to read it. It's a tight, brief little noir classic.

(And I'll head off some complaints by reminding people not to stray far from hardboiled (and noir) fiction and related things. The list works best if we all remember this, and that we should trim as much quoted text as possible in replies.)


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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