Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Leo Malet (was Chandler's Influences)

From: Jess Nevins (
Date: 15 Dec 2002

Kevin Burton Smith wrote:

> > The PI story HAS become more
> >international in recent years, but for many years,
> >particularly the years immediately post-Chandler, it
> >was almost exclusively the province of American
> >characters.
> At least those written by American authors. There may be more P.I.s
> in heaven and earth than dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
> There have many Non-American P.I.s written by non-American P.I.s, not
> just recently but going back at least as far as French writer Leo
> Malet's Nestor Burma, who made his debut in the early forties and
> who's actually supposed to be one of this month's themes.
> Any way you cut it, Malet was an interesting writer, not just
> allegedly inspired by Chandler but also a contemporary, and Nestor
> Burma an extremely interesting detective, an overtly political eye
> pounding the mean streets of occupied, and later post-war, France.
> Has anyone read him, in either English or even better, French? And
> has anyone read any of the graphic novel adaptations by Jacques
> Tardi? I'd love to hear some thoughts on him, and how he's regarded
> these days in France.

Fairly well-respected, IIRC. The tv show ran for 7 seasons (1991-2000), which might indicate how well-thought of the character is.

I think the graphic novels are pretty good, but the art style isn't quite fitting for the genre.

Jean-Marc Lofficier has a page on Burma here:


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