RE: RARA-AVIS: upbeat endings not hard boiled?

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 21 Jan 2002

>mvs says:

Sam Spade flirts ironically with the murderous vixen, if they stretch your neck or i'll be waiting etc. the bad guys are on the lam with the evidence in the cops' hands and Sam Spade is free, his honor and ethics reaffirmed. That's as upbeat as I can think of, and Maltese Falcon seems by acclamation to be an avatar for hardboiledness.

The color guy, McDonald, the vato on the boat with the wise side-kick in florida, always wins, the issues wrapped up all nice and tight. Seems upbeat

to me.

Maybe I don't know what "upbeat" means. Am I unsyncopated?


sam spade gets the crook, but he's got a dead partner, and unless i read it wrong, he had developed feelings for the vixen beyond hate. to put her away hurt him.

i've read two jd mcdonald's. in _the deep blue goodbye_, he kicks the bad guy's butt in a harrowing ending, but the sweet lady that travis felt sorry for and tried to help is dead. and travis has recovered darn little of the gems. in _dress her in indigo_, he actually finds the girl that was thought dead to be alive. wonderful ending? not really. she's a drug addicted zombie, and dried out she's mean and nasty and resentful towards her crippled father who never gave a damn for her before anyway.

i haven't read the other two you mentioned.

i am a rookie of hardboiled, but the trend i see is that any victory at the end is fleeting and bittersweet at best. my guess is that hardboiled doesn't make it to the oprah book- of-the-month club.


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