Re: RARA-AVIS: women PIs/fantasy worlds

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 21 Aug 2001

I've never worried too much about the definition of a P.I.
(is Easy Rawlins an investigator of any kind?), but I don't think modern P.I. fiction presents many clear-cut heroes, as Jim suggests -- as the Chandler ideal figure.

Sughrue? Milodragovich? Dave Brandstetter? Amos Walker? Nameless? Marshall Tanner? Stefanos? Clete Purcell? Kearny and associates?

None of these guys strikes me as particularly heroic... most of them are tough, but they are not admirable people or idealistic people.

I think the real heroes died with Shell Scott, Mike Hammer and Spenser (you know what I mean).

It's curious that two of the most memorable contemporary heroes, Easy Rawlins and Socrates Fortnow, are often on the wrong side of the law. I think this is the spirit of the day.

You could also say that Westlake's Parker is a hero (I certainly root for him, without exception). The hero is just about the meanest, toughest, most callous bastard imaginable, a hardened criminal.

This is just to feed the discussion, which has turned out to be very good, as usual.




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