Re: RARA-AVIS: 1970s reading

From: John Williams (
Date: 05 Mar 2003

Bill asked
> What do you recommend for 1970s reading?

Bill, if you don't have much from the seventies on your shelves you're in for a treat, this is a key decade in the development of the genre, a time when writers who might previously have written literary fiction turned their attention to h/b to considerable mutual benefit. Here are some that spring easily to mind

George V. Higgins - The Friends Of Eddie Coyle - maybe the finest hardboiled novel of them all - and half a dozen other good ones

Elmore Leonard for certain - esp the Detroit nopvels, The Switch, Unknown Man No 89etc - writing masterclasses one and all

James Crumley - The Wrong Case and The Last Good Kiss - none more romantically h/b

Joe Gores - especially Interface, none more noir

Newton Thornburg - To Die In California, Cutter & Bone, Black Angus - Vietnam comes home

Mark Behm - Eye Of The Beholder - singular PI novel

James Lee Burke's masterpiece - The Lost Get Back Boogie

Tony Hillerman - not forgetting his political thriller The Fly On The Wall

Ross Thomas - any number of classics

Jerome Charyn - The first Isaac novels

Douglas Fairbairn - Shoot (Vietnam comes home again) and Street 8 (the beginnings of Miami noir)

MF Beal - Angel Dance - post Vietnam noir written by a woman from the radical underground

Jon A Jackson - The Blind Pig

Donald Westlake - The Dortmunder novels et al

and from the UK..

Ted Lewis - Plender, Billy Rags, GBH et al

P.B. Yuill - the Hazell books - probably the best crime novels written by a former professional sportsman


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