Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small World

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 06 Jul 2000

Kevin is most certainly right that I just skim the surface of non-US HB writers. Plus I listed only Brit writers. However, there is one Brit I can't believe I left off my short list, Ted Lewis. Ain't no way GBH and Get Carter aren't hardboiled or noir or whatever. They are definitely stark, dark crime fiction. Sure, the other two Carters dilute the franchise a bit, but they're still pretty good. And Billy Rags has a lot in common with US prison books like Bunker's Animal Factory or Smith's Stone City.

Not being that familiar with international jazz, I can't comment on foreign-to-US practitioners, but Paul does have one thing right with his jazz analogy -- it seems American hardboiled, too, is often more respected in Europe. As Kevin pointed out, there are many US writers, new and old, who are unobtainable in the States. I, too, read my first Pelecanos as an import from UK. And I live all of two miles from where Nick Stephanos does.

As far as few foreign HB writers being printed in the US goes, less HB, period, is being printed. For instance, I sure hope someone picks up John Shannon now that he has been dropped by his publisher. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a Brit imprint, say Mask Noir, Last Exit or Do Not Press.

Of course, I must ask, is the same thing going on in the UK? I've noticed through some UK sites that most of the Nick Sharmans have fallen out of print. And weren't they the basis of a series of successful series of TV movies? (Speaking of which, are any of them available on video in the US?)


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