Re: RARA-AVIS: Russell James

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 11 Nov 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Andres Kabel" <>

> I've been hearing about Russell James for a while now but his books are
> difficult to get in Australia. He is apparently dubbed 'the Godfather of
> British noir' so when I laid my hands on his latest "Pick Any Title," I
> assumed I was in for a dark treat. Not so at all. The book is a manic
> novel, very witty, very well done, but noir it is not. Are his other books
> more serious?

His latest is actually "The Annex", a reworking of a Jacobean drama
(Middleton's THE CHANGELING). It's dark, but not hardboiled. The one before "Pick Any Title" is "Painting In The Dark", which, despite having the word "dark" in the title, isn't dark at all. It is serious, though, and has received the best reviews of any of his work, so what do I know. It's the only one of his novels I haven't liked. Anything pre-"Painting" is hardboiled or noir. If you want noir as serious as broken knuckles, I'd recommend "Payback," "Slaughter Music" and "Count Me Out." "Count Me Out"
(Serpent's Tail) was still in print last time I looked.


# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Nov 2002 EST