RARA-AVIS: John Franklin Bardin ( & Mr Duncan's booklet)

From: Rene Ribic ( rribic@optusnet.com.au)
Date: 09 Feb 2002

As an Aussie cultural icon known as Big Kev likes to say, "I'm excited!
... and I'll tell you why...". Just got back from a little Sun morn jaunt to get some breakfast & while walking through a local outdoor shopping mall with my scone in hand I found a copy of "The John Franklin Bardin Omnibus", which contains "Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly", "The Deadly Percheron" & "The Last of Philip Banter", at a little stand selling 2nd hand books. I've been wanting to read these books, which have quite a rep in certain circles, for a long time. My impression is that this guy inhabits territory somewhere between Fredric Brown & Cornell Woolrich, not your standard HB, more psychological suspense, etc. List member Paul Duncan talks about him in his little booklet,
"Noir Fiction", put out as part of the "Pocket Essentials" line (& a nice companion to his "Film Noir" volume). I don't know what distribution is like in the US & UK but here in Sydney I have found them to be quite easily available and the price is excellent, it cost me approx US$4.50 & nothing is that cheap any more! It's an excellent little read & even discusses some authors I hadn't previously heard of . I can't say I agree with roping in Dostoeyevsky & Conrad as noir authors although I see his point & the influence on & thematic similarities to, noir authors is undeniable - & seeing how noir is a "genre" that was basically invented by critics & readers long after many of the authors were already gone, who can say, and prove, that he's wrong? Anyone out there read these books & have any comments (sans spoilers, please)?


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