RARA-AVIS: Dumb Question by a Non-Hard-Boiled Reader

Sharon Villines (sharonvillines@prodigy.net)
Sun, 05 Dec 1999 08:45:39 -0500

> [snip]....Tony Soprano, with a hung dog
> look, lamented the fact that an attempt had been made on his life by
> "...two guys with 9mm's. My self esteem is at an all time low". Life,
> for a modern Mafia family, is definitely getting more complicated.
>[snip].....unless Bobby, a no-mark
> college student civilian, can work something out he'll be sleeping
> with the fish before you can say "Keep your friends close....."
> [snip].... very funny. But Wolf doesn't sacrifice the
> humour for believable characters.
> There's a kangaroo called Ali who offs a
> Mafia consigliere is a scene that had me laughing out loud.
> It is both original and hilarious

This is likely to be a dumb question but it is important. I'm working on a classification system for detective fiction--not with an attempt to classify ALL titles but with an attempt to classify quintessential examples of various types. At the moment I'm working with three attitudes or world views that influence each of the sub-genres:

--traditional or classic which assumes a benevolent social order,
--hard-boiled or mean streets which assumes a predatory social order
--comic, which assumes a nonsensical social order

I would expect a description like the one above to indicate a comic world view. As readers of hard-boiled detective fiction, what do you think?


Sharon Villines, Editor
MacGuffin Guide to Detective Fiction

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