Re: RARA-AVIS: WHO created the hard-boiled story?

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 11 Jun 2001

Duane asked:

"are we being addressed by another ill-informed reviewer?"

George replied:

"Yes, we are. Although I agree with the first statement, obviously Hammett was writing years before Chandler. We've recently had this discussion on here, but my own vote for the creator of the HB private detective sub-genre, at least, goes to Carroll John Daly. . . .
[followed by some interesting commnts on genre in general]"

I've admitted to a spotty knowledge of the pulps, but weren't there quite a few hardboiled detectives in the more than ten years between the debuts of Daly's and Hammett's detectives and Chandler's? Hammett and Daly had both published several novels by 1933 when Chandler published his first story, hadn't others followed in their footsteps in the pages of the pulps (and probably novels, too)? As a matter of fact, wasn't one of the reasons Chandler decided to write in the genre because it was already a well established market?


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