Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir Crit

From: Bill Hagen (
Date: 05 Jun 2000

An interesting list of recent titles on noir. I agree completely with Juri on the Symons book. A good (cheap) reference on the larger mystery area. I've got a copy of

The Crime Novel:A Deviant Genre Author: Hilfer, Tony Publishing Date: 09/1990 | Publisher: University of Texas Press Binding: Paperback | ISBN: 0292711360 | List Price: US$ 13.95

I can't locate it right now--(damn, am I going to have to tear into that bookcase again?)--, but remember some very good discussions of Thompson, Highsmith, and perhaps Cain. Solid and very readable.

Was the list meant to be comprehensive, especially of crit books published in the 90s? If so you really need to include Gorman et al, The Big Book of Noir (1998), with essays by many RA authors. It's first rate. Carroll and Graf paperback, $19.95.

Also, if I were "doing" noir fiction, I would at least refer to Silver and Ward's Film Noir, which is probably in at least a 4th edition. Though it's about films, it is useful for cross checking titles and has stimulating essays on noir "crossovers" (Western noir, etc.).

Bill Hagen

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