RARA-AVIS: The roots of hardboiled

From: Michael Robison ( zspider@gte.net)
Date: 23 Sep 2003

Richard wrote: As Todd mentioned, I think there is something about the coal territory that is given to suicide. My wife's people are from Harlan ("Bloody Harlan") and Bell County Kentucky and the depression there is something I am well aware of.

************ Hardboiled has got roots in the mines. Pinkerton's MOLLY MAGUIRES AND THE DETECTIVES in1877. RED HARVEST mentions miners. And thanks for the heads up about John Yount and HARDCASTLE, Richard.

I just finished Benedict's DOGS OF GOD. Excellent book. Very dark and ultra-violent. I think there was a lot of symbolism that slipped by me. Just like cats are a motif in Cain's POSTMAN, there are a bunch of dogs in Benedict's novel. There's an anchorite that gets his palm pierced. That sounds familiar.

I think I mentioned before that I see some big similarities between Cormac McCarthy's writing and this book. Almost everybody is bad to the bone, and there's a lot of brutal violence. There's even a cave ending in DOGS OF GOD, same as McCarthy's CHILD OF GOD.

DOGS OF GOD is Southern Gothic at its best.


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