Re: RARA-AVIS: Dorothy B. Hughes Month

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 03 May 2001

Bill wrote;

"I did see an adaptation of one of her books recently: IN A LONELY PLACE, with Bogart and Gloria Grahame, was on TV the other week. I assume it's fairly close to the book?"

I haven't read it yet, either, but Cult Fiction: A Reader's Guide describe the relationship between the book and film, thus:

Hughes's masterpiece is In a Lonely Place . . . Perhaps what is most remarkable about In a Lonely Place is that, besides being a novel of relentlessly rising suspense, it is one of the quintessential stories of a peculiarly masculine form of rootlessness and alienation -- and yet it was written by a middle-aged woman.

In a Lonely Place was filmed by Nicholas Ray in 1950, with Humphrey Bogart as Dix. Ray softened the story (the film insinuates that Dix isn't the killer), and relocated it in contemporary Tinseltown rather than in the aftermath of the Second World War. One critic said of the film "never were despair and solitude so romantically alluring" -- except, that is, in the original book, which surpasses even this remarkable film.

I think I'll start my reading of Hughes with this book (I found it in an omnibus edition along with Ride a Pink Horse and Davidian Report).


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