Re: RARA-AVIS: Practical tips from hardboiled dicks

From: KS (
Date: 10 Nov 2000

> Never let nobody talk you into shaking another man's jolt.

So the meaning of "jolt" has been sorted out as meaning "a jail sentence". But surely the key word in the sentence above has to be "shaking". Yeah, we'd all shake if given a jolt of electricity or a jail term, but the author has to have been aware of other implications when he chose this word over "taking". It's this suggestion of jail house sex and the evocation of homophobia that takes the entire paragraph beyond just being good snappy dialogue.

It points to what I think is the defining practical advice of good noir fiction: the world not is as it seems.

Kerry Schooley

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