Re: RARA-AVIS: Parker and Hammett

A.N.Smith (
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 20:48:53 -0000

Seems that Parker's criticism of Hammett's character flatness is more from who his hero is than any real problem. Parker finished a Chandler novel, tosses his hat into that ring. Now, Chandler had a few choice words for Hammett himself. He said nice things as well, but the romantic in Chandler had a problem with Hammett's shady characters and flat style. So maybe these two guys (H and C) sharpened and defined hardboiled better than anyone, but they had very different views about the genre anyway.

So I'm thinking Parker is picking up C's cause there.

Wish Ellroy would write a review of NT rather than that fluff piece on amazon.

Me, I don't think Hammett's flat style or characters were problems, really. When people criticize his most well-known works, I simply want to say "Go back. Start over. Try again." If you don't see it then, well, Chandler wrote some novels, you know. Maybe right up your alley. (I love Chandler, too, but find Hammett more interesting and a better writer).

Neil Smith Plots With Guns (http://www2/

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