Re: RARA-AVIS: top characters

From: M Blumenthal (
Date: 21 Mar 2002

Bill Crider sent the list NPR's top 100 literary characters of the last 100 years. That list inspired me to suggest this. I originally proposed the top 100 hard boiled/noir characters of the last 100 years. I know the list of the top 100 movies or similar lists start out by having a larger list to vote from. I think that is best to do with this. We are now only thinking of names to allow Rara Avis members to vote on later. Right now, along the obvious names like Spade we are only providing names now so someone like Brock Callahan ( author: William Campbell Gault) or Mac (author: Thomas B Dewey won't be forgotten. I think someone suggested we nominate for the rest of the month and actually vote in April. That seems to be a good idea. Erick Anderson or I will give periodic updates with all the nominees alphabetized so people can easily check to see if a worthy character has been missed.

As this is being conducted on Rara Avis which, as Bill sometimes reminds us, is restricted to discussion of WRITTEN hard boiled or noir fiction. That means we can't nominate someone like Joe Friday, but we could nominate a character from comics. If people want to nominate or discuss characters from tv or movies like Joe Friday or Jake Gittes as welll as those from literature they should go to Gerald So's Crimeseen list

When the it is time or voting I don't like ranking those for whom you would like to vote because that could become a hassle and the vote for the obvious characters like Marlowe would overwhelm those for more ideosyncratic choices. I do think we should limit the number of votes per person. Ten seems like an ok number.

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