RARA-AVIS: Hughes/Brackett

From: Michael Sharp ( msharp@binghamton.edu)
Date: 30 Aug 2000

Dorothy Hughes is on the cusp of hard-boiled, I think, and the psychological thriller. I didn't care for _In a Lonely Place_ because SO MUCH of it was about what was going on in people's heads -- not enough externality for me, somehow. _Ride the Pink Horse_, on the other hand, is pretty hard-boiled ... familiar stock characters (cops, big city criminals on the lam) set in darkly unfamiliar and exotic locations. It unfolds a little more slowly than your typical toughguy novel, but it's totally worth it.

And I wish almost every day that Leigh Brackett had kept at the crime fiction more diligently. Some of her stories, esp. "So Pale, So Cold, So Fair," are masterpieces. I may have mentioned this several years ago, but when I taught from Adrian and Pronzini's _Hard-Boiled_, "So Pale..." was second only to Halliday's "Human Interest Stuff" as my students' favorite story.


Michael D. Sharp Assistant Professor Binghamton University (SUNY) Department of English Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
(607) 777-2418

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