Re: RARA-AVIS: reading list

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 23 Mar 2000

I thought about perhaps including "Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer series", as someone suggested, which really isn't all that many, but I also thought that some are more complex than others, and wanted to make sure those were considered. I read that "The Galton Case" and "The Doomsters" were the beginning of the really interesting ones, and that somewhere near the end, the books weren't as good. (I've read them all, but have to think a little outside my own opinions here) So, between those brackets was where I wanted concentration.

No worries about the guy not being well read in the area. He's good for it.

For people like Chandler, I would say all the Marlowes except "Playback," Definitely including "Big Sleep", "Farewell, My Lovely" and "Long Goodbye".

All the Hammett novels.

Cain's big two.

Patricia Highsmith's "Talented Mr. Ripley". Actually, I'd probably just include the 2 Crime Novel collections from the American Library series, including this one, plus Himes, McCoy, Willeford, etc.

Someone will have to convince me on the Leigh Brackett book.

Jim Thompson's "Killer Inside Me", "The Grifters"

James Ellroy's "Black Dahlia", "L.A. Confidential" and "My Dark Places."

George Pelecanos' DC Quartet

Crumley's "Wrong Case" and "Last Good Kiss"

I have big holes to fill in, sure. It'll take a couple weeks before I have something to show. Robert Parker? Paretsky? Many many more to think about.

How about this: essential hardboiled short stories?

Neil Smith

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