RARA-AVIS: Votes for the 100 Best Hard Boiled Characters since 1900

From: Rob Wheaton ( rwheaton@btinternet.com)
Date: 14 Apr 2002

Ten from another lurker:

Six that speak for themselves: 1) 257. Philip Marlowe (series, Raymond Chandler) 2) 286 Sam Spade (THE MALTESE FALCON, Dashiell Hammett) 3) 308. The Continental Op (series, Dashiell Hammett) 4) 233. Mouse (Easy Rawlins series, Walter Mosley) 5) 196. Lou Ford (KILLER INSIDE ME and WILD TOWN, Jim Thompson) 6) 60. Coffin Ed Johnson & Gravedigger Jones (series, Chester Himes)

Because GVH and Elmore Leonard deserve at least one each (and these are the ones that spring to mind this morning): 7) 101. Eddie Coyle (THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, George V. Higgins) 8) 216. Maximum Bob Gibbs (MAXIMUM BOB, Elmore Leonard)

One of the original 'insider' characters, imparting lots of diabolical 'how to' information as the plot unfolds: 9) 323. Walter Huff (DOUBLE INDEMNITY, James M Cain)

And a write-in: 10) The Kid (Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy) I'll second (third? fourth?) McCarthy as hard-boiled, but my vote goes not to The Judge but the Kid, for his response to The Judge's chillingly opaque climactic speech on war and killing: "You aint nothin".

Thanks to all involved,

Cheers, Rob

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