Re: RARA-AVIS: the other Vin and the Big Book of Noir

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 15 Aug 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Robison Michael R CNIN" <> To: <> Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 9:04 PM Subject: RE: RARA-AVIS: the other Vin

> Al said:
> I don't know if you own the Big Book of Noir, Mike, but I
> think you'd find it a useful investment.
> ************
> Thanks, Al. I saw that one offered by several buyers at
> Abebooks. I'll see if I can pick it up cheap. It appears
> that I'm in luck searching for old hardboiled that centered
> mostly on tough guys and violence. Their price is mostly
> within reason. I don't make enough money to buy the lesbian
> sex and drug novels from the Gold Medal era.

THE BIG BOOK OF NOIR consists of four sections (film, fiction, comic books and radio & television). Here's a contents list of the fiction section (it occupies more space than any of the others, roughly 170 pages). The Last Days of Cornell Woolrich - Barry N Malzberg Con (Cornell Woolrich) - Don Yates My Friend Fredric Brown - Walt Sheldon Warning!Warning! Hitchhikers May Be Escaped Lunatics (Jim Thompson) - Stephen King Golden Harvest (Gold Medalists) - Ed Gorman Forgotten Writers (Gil Brewer) - Bill Pronzini Harry Whittington - Bill Crider John D MacDonald - Ed Gorman I Kill 'Em Inch by Inch (The British paperback boom) - Steve Holland Lion Books - Gary Lovisi An Interview With Arnold Hano (Lion Books editor) - George Tuttle Mecca Spillane - Max Allan Collins Serie Noire - Etienne Borgers Lew Archer As Cultural Maven - Burton Kendle 15 Impressions of Charles Williams - Ed Gorman A Too Brief Conversation With Peter Rabe - George Tuttle Dell First Editions - Bill Crider Interview With Donald Westlake - Charles L P Silet Chester Himes - James Sallis Donald Hamilton - Robert Skinner Highsmith's Ripley - Noel Mawer Not Herself Mean (female hb) - Dulcy Brainard From Under Hammett's Mask - Dick Lochte Charles Willeford: an interview - Sybil Steinberg Fresh Blood (British neo-noir) - Mike Ripley and Maxim Jakubowski Larry Block - James Sallis Who's In The Room - Bill Crider 100 Authors (a reading list) - Ed Gorman and Lee Server

> And thanks for
> recommending the MURDER OFF THE RACK book. I got a
> nice copy of it and I've read a decent essay on Thompson
> by Max Allan Collins and I've started Westlake's article
> on Peter Rabe. Vin Packer is discussed as well, so I
> figure its about time to dig something up by her. Just
> scanning the Vin Packer article gave me the names of the
> two books I mentioned in my post, COME DESTROY ME and
> WHISPER HIS SIN, but, as I mentioned, I wasn't sure about
> the subject of the books.

I found this intriguing comment by Ed Gorman in THE BIG BOOK. Referring to Vin Packer's SOMETHING IN THE SHADOWS he describes it as "one of the most breathtakingly cunning crime tales I've ever come across." Given how well-read Gorman is, that's really saying something. I gotta have it.


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