From: James Rogers ( jetan@ionet.net)
Date: 16 Dec 2000

   Well, of course there are a lot of HB women in real life.....try talking to a whore or ex-whore sometime. They have a very cold eye. I can't think of too many books that have been written about this milieu without sentimentalizing it or viciously caricaturing the girls. Probably need a female author....a GOOD female writer..... to even try. Female cops I don't care for ....the one's that I have met have not been too competent. Female lawyers (and contrary to what Anthony says, criminal defense lawyers have the hardboiled end of the stick) and PIs are better, at least in the real world.

   As far as the female characters in Chandler go, Marlowe didn't fit the bill when it comes to promiscuity. If I recall correctly he only sleeps with the lady he eventually marries in the course of the entire series, and he feels some attraction for the wholesome, albeit bitter, ex-cop's daughter in
_Farewell, My Lovely_. If I recall correctly the idea for _The Poodle Springs Story_ was to show that Marlowe was incapable of doing the Nick Charles thing and being a kept guy by his wife. Thus the title.

   I don't mind Spencer having a relationship with a regular female character, not do I think he is really a Marlowe clone.....actually I think he is a weak McGee clone. I'm afraid I'm really off the reservation here, because I wasn't even crazy about the early books in the series.....yes, they were originally fun in the Doc Savage kind of way that Vachss books can be fun....but they never struck me as HB in even the limited way that Mike Shayne stories are. At best they were entertaining pulp schlock.....never transcendent the way that the big guys sometimes are....and towards the end they weren't even entertaining.

   Actually, and I don't mean to offend the ladies of Rara- Avis, I think the best drawn women in HB are the slightly murderous and sexually complex young things in the James M. Cain books. They manage to be scary but also to be comprehensible and sympathetic.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 Dec 2000 EST