Re: RARA-AVIS: crime/anti-crime (was long post on spillane)

From: Randy Schultz (
Date: 26 May 2002

On Sat, 25 May 2002 10:04:33 +0100 "Peedie Monk"
<> writes:
> Russell James pointed out something in an interview a few years ago
> and I've
> never been able to look at crime fiction the same way since. Like
> yourself,
> he stated that there are two categories. He called them "crime"
> and
> "anti-crime". And there's some crossover between his classification
> and
> yours. Basically, his theory goes, most so-called crime novels are
> "anti-crime" novels. In other words, solving the crime is paramount
> (police
> procedurals and PI novels, for example). "Crime" novels, on the
> other hand,
> are written from the viewpoint of the criminal or victim (gangster
> novels,
> Woolrich, Cain, Goodis, Thompson, Brewer, Russell James), whose
> plight is
> paramount. In this category, policemen or detectives only feature
> as
> peripheral figures, if they feature at all.

Yes, it's odd how crime fiction has to: 1. Be creative enough to keep you interested yet 2. Hit certain marks that you have become comfortable with in order to satisify your taste for the genre.

Sure, writers can play around here and there, but they still have to maintain many of the conventions of the genre.


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