Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Bestsellerdom (was Blade Runner)

From: Bob Toomey (
Date: 28 Jan 2000

Mark Sullivan wrote:

> I think it's probably pretty telling that when someone asks
> what you are reading and you reply, A mystery, they seldom think of
> hardboiled, to such a degree that many of us have tried to come up with
> other genre names (crime novel, PI novel, hardboiled/noir, etc) in order
> to forestall the clarifying discussion

I generally reply "A thriller." It's a term that seems to have fallen out of favor, but I like it, and it usually causes people to take an interest in what I'm reading. I never use the term "hardboiled" in describing a book to a stranger or to an acquaintance who isn't specifically into HB. I say "Tough and funny," or "Sharp and cynical." Nobody but HB fans use the word "hardboiled" in describing a book, and half the time we can't even agree on what we're talking about. That's what makes it fun, of course.


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