Re: RARA-AVIS: The Russian Killers

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 05 Jul 2000

Mario wrote:

"To keep this on topic, what about modern Russian hardboiled and noir literature? There's the right environment, lots of stuff happening, a great tradition of dark literature. Yet I haven't come across a single Russian novel on the topic. Are they just not being translated?"

I happen to be in the middle of Dayight by Russell James, much of which is set in Leningrad, just before the collapse of Communism. It is told from the perspective of a smalltime Brit criminal acting as a gobetween in an art smuggling scam. He makes numerous comparisons to Prohibition, gangsters, etc; he presents it as very similar to the US in the '20s. And James is far from the only Western writer to set crime fiction (even leaving aside spy novels) in Russia -- Philip Kerr, Martin Cruz Smith, etc/

So this got me thinking that there must be Russian crime writers who write about their society from the inside. I'd really be interested in reading some. It seems that cultures in flux offer a particularly good setting for crime fiction as many people scurry about, trying to capitalize upon shortages, get hard currency, etc.


# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Jul 2000 EDT