RE: RARA-AVIS: 3/29/02 - UPDATED Nominations List

From: Anderson, Erick (ETW) (
Date: 01 Apr 2002

Dear Fellow Birds:

After feeling like I started a conversation that I would not, with foreknowledge of how it would play itself out, want to have started, I compiled three lists. I used three different criteria:

Hardboiled-est Characters Characters from Hardboiled Fiction who were most influential to me Characters from Hardboiled Fiction who made a most significant contribution to the form.

I found that many characters made it onto all the lists, but in a different order, regardless of what criteria I used. After I made the three lists, I reviewed them to determine which of the three lists I felt, in my subjective opinion, was the best representation of a Rara-Avianesque cross section of the Top 20 characters. That is the list you will find below:

                         1. The Continental Op (series, Dashiell Hammett)
                        2. Philip Marlowe (series, Raymond Chandler)
                        3. Sam Spade (THE MALTESE FALCON, Dashiell Hammett)
                        4. Paul Pine (Halo series, Howard Browne)
                        5. Perry Mason (series, Erle Stanley Gardner)
                        6. Spenser (series, Robert Parker)
                        7. Kells (FAST ONE, Paul Cain)
                        8. Arkady Renko (series, Martin Cruz Smith)
                        9. Bill Crane (series, Jonathan Latimer)
                        10. Buzz Meeks (BIG NOWHERE, James Ellroy)
                        11. Harry Lime (THE THIRD MAN, Graham Greene)
                        12. James Bond (series, Ian Fleming)
                        13. Easy Rawlins (series, Walter Mosley)
                        14. Eddie Coyle (THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, George V. Higgins)
                        15. Fast Eddie Felson (THE HUSTLER and COLOR OF MONEY, Walter Tevis)
                        16. Frank Chambers & Cora Papadakis (THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, James M Cain)
                        17. Lou Ford (KILLER INSIDE ME and WILD TOWN, Jim Thompson)
                        18. Matt Helm (series, Donald Hamilton)
                        19. Mike Hammer (series, Mickey Spillane)
                        20. Ned Beaumont (THE GLASS KEY, Dashiell Hammett)

                        Honorable mentions that didn't make my top 20
(tie-breakers, if you will):

21. Travis McGee (series, John D. MacDonald) 22.Hannibal Lecter (series, Thomas Harris)

If, for the purposes of academic discussion, you would like me to make my other two lists available, I would be glad to oblige.

I am leaving now for Puerto Vallarta, I wish all of you happy listing, and I will return in a week to assist in the tabulations.

Best Regards, Erick (who was heard to have noted that "Hard Work Ain't Easy."

P.S.: Missing Florida Voting Joke: Those of you casting votes in Palm Beach, please be sure to completely remove your chads.

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