Re: RARA-AVIS: Why are you here?

From: Greg Swan (
Date: 30 Jan 2000

Sharon, this is completely unrealistic. I simply can't believe your lack of sensitivity to what is and is not hardboiled. Clearly, HB detectives do NOT use cellphones.

I haven't chimed in on this "Why are you here?" thread, but my best guess is that I've got a soft spot for stories written about or by folks who are alienated. Sometimes the characters are alienated from society
(hardboiled); sometimes they are alienated from their own selves (noir). Sometimes society even makes them think they are alienated from themselves. How evil!

Let me ask: Where else but rara-avis would a book like Willeford's Burnt Orange Heresy make it to the reading list? What a corker: Man paints a picture of his true self in a scheme to pass it off as another man's self. Girlfriend sees the painting and, more importantly, is able to peer into the soul of its painter. Frightened, she suddenly knows him for what he is. Naturally, girlfriend must die.

And you folks apparently like this stuff, too.

Plus, we get to marginalize readers of cozies. I've never read a cozy . . . and with your help I never will!

Now, if I could just get past page 85 of Red Harvest before the month is out
. . . and get on to this Anita Blake novel some frail recommended to the list last month. We'll just see who spills the most blood: Op or Vampire Hunter.

Greg Swan

----- Original Message ----- From: "Sharon Villines" <>
> I still skip all the pages of car chases, fist and foot fights,
> of torture or the tortured, and laugh out loud when the hero survives a
> off a cliff in a car that bursts into flames, to bound back up the cliff
> a single leap, to jump on the car of the escaping thugs, where he clings
> the back bumper while rogue cops in the accomplice car shoot him several
> times. But he only lets go when they reach their destination where he
> off, breaking both legs but only one arm, and rolls faster than the speed
> light down a hill while pulling out his cell phone to call -- not the
> to tell them where he is -- but his girlfriend to save her before the cops
> torture her. And he lives to star in more storied after that. I skip those
> too.

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