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
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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