RE: RARA-AVIS: Realism: HB vs. cozies (was: Those were the days)

From: Chris Routledge (
Date: 10 Sep 2000


>That's okay, 'cause when I said ... "The easily offended should stick with
>cozies anyway ... no use offending their delicate sensibilities with
>reality." I didn't mean that cozies weren't real or realistic, just that
>they do not have the same graphic realism that HB has.

OK, but most of the coszies we're talking about I suspect are from the 1920s-ish era. What has happened to the cozies? Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Colin Dexter, none of whom are always polite, and call a whore a whore.

>The UK has a significantly smaller population than even CONUS America ...

Yeah, I cry foul: compare us with New England please :)

>... well, in quantity we appear to be the same ... but quality? ;) Crime
>doesn't happen so irregularly in the US that the novelty of it makes it
>appear in our media ... blood sells is what makes crime the primary news
>that we get. But that doesn't change the fact that the crime occurred and it
>may have occurred to someone you don't know, it may have occurred to you, or
>someone you work with. There was a survey that reported an alarmingly number
>of people will either be a victim of a crime or that some one close to them
>will be a victim of crime.

Oh, sure, but if we're comparing experiences, I've been shot at, burgled
(twice, in an English village), my eighty year-old grandmother had a Rottweiler set on her in the street - but then she can be a bit threatening
- my brother very narrowly missed being blown up by the IRA in Manchester. And I'm not unique either.

Still, I don't think my experience is particularly hard-boiled, and I still don't think the world Marlowe lives in is particularly like mine, though his attitude to it (that the world is a corrupt place with only a few good people in it) is increasingly common, and is played on by the media. My limited experience of the US, and the experience of those Brits I know who've also been brave enough to go there is that despite the hype you just don't get murdered as a matter of course. Is there something to be said I wonder for the notion that the US uses its hard-boiled image in the same way as the UK plays on its Kings and Queens heritage nonsense?

Cheers Chris

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