Re: RARA-AVIS: Sensitive detectives

Doug Bassett (
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 14:29:06 -0800 (PST)

--- Brian Lawrence <> wrote:
> One more question, and I'll shut up for a while.
> Does hardboiled have to be a
> PI story?

No, not at all. Bukowski's stuff, for example, seems to me to be very hardboiled and is virtually crime-free (unless you consider public intoxication to be a crime). William Burroughs first novel, Junky, is also a fine hardboiled book.

As I think I mentioned in another post, it works the other way, too. You can have fine PI stories that aren't hardboiled (Stephen Greenleaf's work comes to mind).

The more I think about it, the more I think that this debate about sensitive detectives is really a debate about the popularity of sensitive detectives. It's not that there isn't hardboiled stuff being published nowadays -- recent postings here have pointed out many authors. Why, though, is the "sensitive" detective so popular now?



===== Doug Bassett
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