Re: RARA-AVIS: Gresham, Goodis: A Matter of Style

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 04 Sep 2002

Ed Lynskey said:
> This past weekend I finished reading William
> Lindsay Gresham's _Nightmare Alley_ and David
> Goodis' _Down There_. I was impressed by their
> writing styles, a certain way each wrote books.
> The plots were inventive and held my attention
> but I found myself just enjoying how they put
> words and sentences together without a lot of
> flash and glitz. Is that the mark of a hardboiled
> classic?

*************** Those are both good books. If I was attaching labels, I'd give Goodis's DOWN THERE the hardboiled and noir tags, but just the noir tag to NIGHTMARE ALLEY. But whatever the labels, they are good books. I liked NIGHTMARE ALLEY because I've never seen a more thorough and wonderful personality disintegration in my life. And Goodis can flesh out a character with a whole lotta soul in two pages. Hmm... DOWN THERE is another name for SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER, isn't it?


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