RARA-AVIS: hardboiled heads

From: Scott Owen ( scottaowen@hotmail.com)
Date: 24 Apr 2002

I think we can settle the extend of James Bond's hardboiledness with one simple test:

How often does he get hit over the head?

As all fans of hardboiled PIs know, one cannot walk down the mean streets without one's cranium being repeatedly coshed, clobbered, and clunked. Some clever etymologist can no doubt find this as having some influence on the derivation of the term "hardboiled." I even remember one story in EQMM many years ago where a baseball player sought publicity for his second career as a detective story writer by arranging for a self-concussion.

It's been too many years since I read James Bond, but I don't recall him getting slugged all that often; his foes preferred the good old Mickey Finn. By contrast, I'm reading one of Robert Dietrich's (nee E. Howard Hunt) Steve Bently (the hardboiled accountant) thrillers. Halfway through and the poor guys already gotten slugged twice.


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