Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir Horror? [long]

Date: 05 Feb 2000

Actually, I was a big horror fan for five or ten years, and my love of hard-boiled kind of grew out of this love like a parasitic Siamese twin...

It's interesting to think which horror writers have noirish/hard-boiled elements. Ramsy Campbell comes to mind, especially his short stories. The protagonists are usually very alienated. His setting is invariably Liverpool, which he depicts as a nightmarish slum. His characters develop paranoid obsessions and start having hallucinations which come true. DARK COMPANIONS and WAKING NIGHTMARES are two good collections. Robert Aikman's the same, only more so. I have PAINTED DEVILS and COLD HAND IN MINE, both recommended. His stories are often period pieces, though.

There are authors who went back and forth between the H-B pulps and the weird menaces, like Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber... Stephen King is very pulpy and often H-B... Movie-wise, you don't get any more noirish than Jaques Tournier(sp?) in terms of atmosphere. In general, the psychopath is a stock character in both worlds, and there's a huge gray area between them that authors will often explore...

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