Re: RARA-AVIS: blown away - the results.

From: Bob Toomey (
Date: 04 Jan 2000


Thanks for doing the work of tabulating results. Lots of surprises there. Chandler over Hammett? When I was 20, that's how I would have voted. Now Chandler seems a wee bit precious and more of a period writer. Hammet still reads hard and clean and fresh as a daisy. Ellroy over Thompson? Hell, I wouldn't even put Ellroy in the top ten, while Thompson at his best is as swift and vicious as a shiv in the heart. The same goes for Himes.

Some of the best in the business only got a single vote: Brackett, Latimer, Marlowe, Rabe, Williams. I suspect they would have done better if their work was more generally available. Brackett got my vote, not only because she deserved it, but because Dennis McMillan brought out a recent edition of some of her best work. The others, particularly Latimer, are overdue for revival. I've already pled the case of Norbert Davis.

But where is Fredric Brown? Richard S. Prather? Paul Cain? W. R. Burnett? Cleve Adams? Raoul Whitfield? Earl Stanley Gardner? And many others. I know -- they're not on anybody's top five list, including mine. But they toiled the fields, they did good work, and they should be acknowledged.


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