RARA-AVIS: Re: context

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 02 May 2000

That globe-trottin' rascal (Hi, Richard!) wrote:

>In later years, Howard Browne was apologetic about the lesbian stuff in HALO

Now that's interesting, and fits in with the stories I've heard about him. Because, generally, the Pine books are so good that the misguided lesbian lore really does stand out. And Pine's explanation of how he cracked the case is so silly and bone-headed it just ruined the book for me. Again, it wasn't the attitudes that got me--it was the supposed "common knowledge."

And then he added:

>For those who really want to be challenged in this department, try reading
>the work of one of Chandler's best friends Cleve Adams. He wrote the true,
>distilled hard stuff. His main detective Rex McBride makes Mike Hammer seem
>like a granola eating liberal. I am convinced that Adams did everything he
>could to make him as unsympathetic and unlikable as possible. It is too far
>over the line to be an accident. Cringe? Let me quote an oft-quoted line
>from McBride: "What this country goddamned well needs is a Gestapo."

And I guess Hammer was vying to be First Nazi, with his suggested bloodthirsty hands-on approach to the Cold War problem.

Still, we should be grateful, and remember that the prejudices of previous eras were never necessarily representative of everyone in those eras. Even back then, some people shied away from some of the excesses of Spillane and Adams, and saw it for what it was. Knocking them for what were essentially fascist fantasies isn't something new.

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/

An A&E Mystery.com Site of the Week

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