RE: RARA-AVIS: Chandler, Hammett, Daly: Bassett

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 03 Dec 2003

William Nolan, in his THE BLACK MASK BOYS, was the first I read (though perhaps not the first to note) that Daly clearly was an antecedent of Spillane and therefore to the MANHUNT school, if one pleases...with the crucial difference being in Daly's inability to deal with sexuality in any manner more sophisticated or at least graphic than a dime-novel approach.

Did Hammett ever write about whether or to what extent Daly had any influence on his choices, of market if not career? I don't know/remember whether the lead time in publication between Daly's and Hammett's early contributions to HB would've allowed Hammett to even see Race Williams and his predecessors before beginning to publish his own CF. TM

-----Original Message-----
 Doug Bassett
--- wrote:
> Yes, I meant to say something like "one-man
> operator," in contrast to the Op.
> I've never read Daly (I've heard it isn't worth it)

The only Daly I've read is THE ADVENTURES OF RACE WILLIAMS collection that came out a few years ago from Mysterious Press. I don't know if I'd exactly say he's
"not worth it" -- it's true he doesn't travel as well as a lot of his contemporaries, though. Maybe you could put it this way: if you're really interested in PI or hardboiled fiction, he's a writer you should read at least a little of, since he's so historically important. There's also a certain thread of hardboiled fiction that can be traced ultimately to Daly, too
(Spillane and Vachss come to mind). He's not *good*, though.

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