RE: RARA-AVIS: List of 100 Best hard boiled characters of the las t 100 years

From: Kerry (
Date: 21 Mar 2002

At 02:24 PM 3/20/02 -0800, you wrote:

>The Op,
>Hoke Mosely,
>Matt Helm,
>Doc McCoy
>Philip Marlowe
>Harry Bosch,
>Matt Scudder,
>Easy Rawlins,
>Tom Ripley,
>Lou Ford,
>Frank Mansfield, (Cockfighter),
>Richard Hudson, (Woman Chaser),
>Kells, (Paul Cain, Fast One),
>Fast Eddie Felson,
>Coffin Ed,
>Grave Digger,
>Elvis Cole,(Robert Crais),
>Travis McGee, (John D McDonald, series),
>Michael Schaefer, (Thomas Perry, Butcher's Boy, Sleeping Dogs),
>Mitch Tobin, (Donald Westlake (writing as Tucker Coe)),
>Hap Collins,
>Leonard Pine,
>Donald Robak, (Joe L. Hensley, series),
>Dan Turner (Hollywood Detective, Spicy Pulp),
>Parker, (Stark),
>Abraham Trahearne, (Crumley),
>Richard Wentworth, aka The Spider (series),
>Mouse, (Walter Mosley, series)
>Jane Whitfield, (Tom Perry, series),
>Bob the Nailer, (Stephen Hunter)
>Earl Swagger, (Stephen Hunter)
>Mike Hammer
>Rebus, (Ian Rankin)

Well maybe I'm just being anal, or don't know when to take a hint, but all the summaries so far still seem to overlook:

Ross Macdonald's series character Lew Archer

AND, of course,

James Ellroy's Dick Contino from "Dick Contino's Blues", who is a real person. The story, and the story on the story are in Granta 46.

Benny Cooperman is an interesting nomination. Howard Engel was inspired by Chandler's Marlowe, but he admits his intention was to create a
"soft-boiled" version of the detective. Cooperman doesn't carry a gun, for instance, preferring to talk himself out of trouble. On the other hand, he doesn't dodge trouble, especially when warned off by characters who fit our usual notions of tough guys. I think Cooperman comes up hardest in his latest title: The Cooperman Variations.

Regarding rules, there's something to be said for sticking to main characters, or protagonists. Otherwise we just might end up with thousands. I like Colin-in-England's suggestion for prioritizing, but I happily leave process to whoever' does the heavy lifting. My only question is: Who gets to go on Letterman?


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