Re: RARA-AVIS: New hardboiled definition

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 17 Sep 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Larry Newton" <>

> so Race Williams and Mike Hammer are sleaze??? They are criminals???
> I object to that. Just finished "One Lonely Night" tonight. Hammer isn't
> criminal (in the book). He's a crusader of sorts. Race Williams is a
> similar character. They only kill those characters that need to be
> There are no innocent bystanders that catch bullets. Only those who need
> killing get killed.

Maybe you've been reading too much Mike Hammer, Larry.

> The judge alluded to in the beginning of "One Lonely Night" would agree
> these characters are sleaze and criminals, but I don't agree.

You don't find the following extract sleazy? (from "One Lonely Night.")

"I raised my hand until it was against her breast and pushed. Ethel staggered back a step and I yanked with the hand that held her dress and it came off in one piece with a quick loud tear, leaving her gasping and hurt with vivid red marks on her skin where the fabric had twisted and caught....Her head shook, unbelieving (sic) what was happening to her. It only lasted a moment, and her hands that trembled so bent up behind her back and the bra fell away and landed at her feet. Her eyes were on mine as she slid her hands inside the fragile silk of the shorts and pushed them down.
    When she stepped out of them I slid my belt off and let it dangle from my hand....
    I started to swing the belt back and forth very gently. Ethel pressed against the wall, her face a pale oval. " wasn't - "
    "Keep quiet," I said.
    A naked woman and a leather belt. I looked at her, so bare and so pretty, hands pressed for support against the panelling, legs spread apart to hold a precarious balance, a flat stomach hollowed under the fear that burned her body a faint pink, lovely smooth breasts, firm with terrible excitement, rising and falling with every gasping breath."

To me, Travis McGee's attitude to women just seems dated. Mike Hammer's sexual sadism is a whole different ball game. If only those characters who need killing get killed, then Hammer should put a bullet in his own head first (if he isn't too busy belting women who need belting).


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Sep 2002 EDT