Re: RARA-AVIS: Themes of the Months

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 28 Jun 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Sullivan" <>
> Al Guthrie recommended Russell James's Oh No, Not My Baby as
> indispensible Brit noir.
> Al, while I agree it's a really great book (as are all of his that I've
> read), do you really think it's his best, the one to read if you're
> reading only one? I don't know. I think I might place Count Me Out,
> Slaughter Music or Payback higher.

I don't think it's his best, Mark. Joy asked for one that was available from "normal places" and Oh No was the best of those still in print. I didn't care for "Painting in the Dark", not because it was a bad book but because it wasn't noir, and I haven't read his latest yet (although I picked up a copy last week). Remove the "in print" proviso and I'd rate Slaughter Music top, then Payback, then Oh No and Count Me Out on a par. Ah, hang on.
"Underground" is pretty damn good... As you say, though, they're all great books. Maybe Joy should follow the advice of James's latest book and "Pick Any Title". The point is, any discussion of Brit Noir should include Russell James (I'd particularly recommend him to any fans of Jason Starr).


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