From: billha@ionet.net
Date: 05 Jan 2000

Apologies for double post on Red Harvest. Message window didn't disappear so I punched the "Send" again.

Is it just the top 5 list, or did the turn to 2OO0 lead us down this path? Love it.

As one of those who didn't put Hammett in my top 5, it had to do with who I came to when. I didn't put Spillane down either, even though I suspect that my war baby/postwar generation growing up in the 50s tended to hit his stuff before any of the others. Why didn't I put him down (and perhaps should have)? Because he was simply a sensationalist, adolescent male turn-on at the time, on a par with Peyton Place and Tobacco Road and other books that dared to put "those scenes" in print. I read Spillane first, but he didn't lead to his betters. He just moved me out of the WWII action series I happened to be stuck in (Dave Dawson) at the time. Then Crime and Punishment, read as a teen, helped push me on my way, but really it took films seen somewhat later to send me back to the authors who matter (Postman to Cain; Getaway to Thompson; Big Sleep to Chandler; Falcon to Hammett). ...which is probably why I tend to read hard-boiled or noir more visually than I do other fiction.

Bill Hagen

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