From: Duane Spurlock ( duane@emazing.com)
Date: 11 Dec 2002

"Rene Ribic" < rribic@optusnet.com.au> wrote:

<< Woolrich was a very uneven writer, given to the kind of purple prose that most fans of hardboiled prefer to avoid (which is why we read hardboiled in the first place) and is definitely an "acquired taste", in my opinion. I suspect, miker, that some of his short stories might be a better bet to sample Woolrich's style.


In sum, I guess Woolrich is a minority taste, these days although not during his heyday, but an enormously influential, especially in film noir, author. I think he's worth persevering with a little more, if just for the reason of his historical importance although IMO there is some stuff worth reading there just for the fun of it.

That sounds right.

I'll only read one of his novels after a few weeks or months have passed since the last one. Each that I've read has a lucid nightmare feel to it -- which makes it pass the noir test, I guess -- where the reader knows that some inescapable doom waits on the last page.

Woolrich is something of an acquired taste these days. Just as some folks can't stand to read his stuff, I have an aversion to Goodis. Yet many folks hail his work as can't-be-missed.

- Duane

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