Re: RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest

From: James (
Date: 25 Oct 2001

----- Original Message ----- From: "JIM DOHERTY" <> To: <> Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2001 9:25 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest

> Carrie,
> Re your comments below:
> > So I know I'm taking aim at a sacred cow but does
> > anyone agree with me that
> > Red Harvest doesn't hold up very well?
> I certainly disagree, and quite strongly. I think it
> holds up damned well. I read it for the first time in
> high school (not all that long ago) and was riveted,
> and have been riveted with every re-reading. I regard
> the Op is the best PI in fiction, bar none, and
> HARVEST as his best novel-length appearance,
> notwithstanding the fact that its serial installments
> had to simultaneously stand as both independent short
> stories and as chapters in a longer work. In fact, I
> think the seams in HARVEST are very well-disguised;
> much more than in the Op's other two book-length
> appearances, THE DAIN CURSE and BLOOD MONEY, which
> were written under the same constraints.

I don't know, I kind of like THE DAIN CURSE better (maybe because it's more lurid and I'm just that kinda guy), but I've read RED HARVEST several times and agree that it holds up fine. In fact, this discussion has just about put me in the mood to read it again.


> Moreover, it wouldn't've inspired so many knock-offs,
> from Brett Halliday's A TASTE FOR VIOLENCE to Robert
> B. Parker's PALE KINGS AND PRINCES, if it hadn't've
> made some impact right from the start. It was the
> grand-daddy of the hard-boiled "Town Tamer" novels; in
> its way as influential as, perhaps more influential
> than, THE MALTESE FALCON's "quest object" and "turning
> your lover in" plots.

One of Kendall Foster Crossen's Milo March books, HANGMAN'S HARVEST, is influenced by RED HARVEST almost to the point of plagiarism. But hey, I liked that one, too.

Best, James

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