RARA-AVIS: Theme of the month - San Francisco

From: M Blumenthal ( blumenidiot@21stcentury.net)
Date: 02 Oct 2001

We are moving a little north this month. I was thinking about books written about the two cities. Except for books with the LAPD being an important element, books about LA rarely seem to be about an urban area. Chandler and Ross MacDonald wrote about southern California but mainly their favorite suburb. Most books set in San Francisco seems to have the gritty feel of the city. I am always struck by Bogart in John Houston's version of The Maltese Falcon when he is mailing the package holding the falcon Captain Jacoby gave his life to deliver. All Bogart writes is his address and 'City' There is no possibility of there being any other city.

I have to confess the only time I ever was in San Francisco was when I was picked up at the airport, driven driven through it to Berkely and then driven back a few days later. My image of the city has been formed by movies like Bullitt and the Dirty Harry series. I have also read Hamett, but that's a view of a city two generations past. Greenleaf's Tanner and Prozini's Nameless have written many books set in the city, but they are marginally hb. Joe Gores' DKA series which are almost PI procedurals have their foundation in his having worked for twelve years as a private investigator/skip tracer. . He has written a lot of stand alones as well. They are often set in San Francisco such as HAMMETT and INTERFACE. I guess we can discuss Hammett's San Francisco of the late 20's and the 30's or these modern writers.

Anyone who lives in the city or knows its relevance to hb fiction is welcome to contribute. Mark

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