RARA-AVIS: The Kanes

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 23 Apr 2000

Henry Kane's Peter Chambers novels debuted in hardback in the late 1940s, perhaps a year or two later than Frank Kane's Johnny Liddell. Since I am in Brussels far away from my collection, I can't be precise on dates or publishers. Both writers settled into paperback originals by the mid-1950s. I recall that both writers were contributors to that great digest Manhunt.

I read and enjoyed both as a teenager but gradually favored Henry Kane. The Peter Chambers novels were sexy (for the time) and funny. Great snappy dialog. Frank Kane's prose was very plodding and was given to repeating pieces of business again and again. For example, Johnny Liddell walks into a nightclub and the bouncer offers him a cigarette. Liddell sniffs it and says, "No thanks, I prefer tobacco in mine." The first time I read this it was mildly cute; the fourth time I was ready to scream. Despite the wonderful McGinnis redheads on those Dell paperbacks, I stopped buying Frank Kane.

Henry Kane's Peter Chambers was in a way a forerunner of Peter Gunn. And it was Henry Kane who did the novelization of Peter Gunn for Dell, in which Pete Chambers made a cameo appearance.

Richard Moore

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to majordomo@icomm.ca.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Apr 2000 EDT