Re: RARA-AVIS: Claude LaLumiere's list of cross-genre noir

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 30 Aug 2004

--- William Denton <> wrote:

> I don't think this got mentioned on the list. I saw
> it on Sarah Weinman's
> blog at (which is one
> to follow, and where
> Mr. Starr recently held guest control):
> LaLumiere says the list "is my personal 'top 50'
> noir books -- including
> collections and novels -- regardless of primary
> genre affiliation: horror,
> crime, SF, 'mainstream', etc." There's quite a bit
> of SF on the list, and
> at least one book I seriously disagree with (Donna
> Tartt's THE SECRET
> HISTORY). He's missing a number of writers I'm sure
> most of us would add
> just because he hasn't read them yet, but what's
> there is interesting and
> looks like great reading.
> Bill

That's an extremely interesting list, thanks.

Of what I've read:

I agree that a lot of Ballard edges into noir, as does a lot of dystopian SF of that era more generally. My only hesitation is that the noir protagonist is usually an individual, while a lot of SF of this era is more sociological, "case-studyish" in approach. Let's just say that someone who likes O'Connell would probably like CRASH and especially HIGH RISE, which is crying out for a David Cronenberg movie.

I don't think DYING INSIDE really fits, as it's more a
"this is the way we live now" downbeat novel of the Sixties (ala Ann Beattie, say)with some sf elements. Great book, though.

A SF novel that might fit is THE SHOCKWAVE RIDER by John Brunner.

THE SECRET HISTORY isn't noir, but could have been with a change or shift in pov. As it stands it's more a classic example of the "university" novel, with a thriller plot. Great book, though.

I'm not a huge fan of the BERLIN NOIR trilogy, but the first book, MARCH VIOLETS, is remarkable.

One obvious sub-genre that might be appreciated by noir fans would be the grimmer British spy novels ala Le Carre, Len Deighton, Joseph Hone (THE SIXTH DIRECTIVE), Noel Behn's THE KREMLIN LETTER,etc.



===== Doug Bassett

__________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Make a clean sweep of pop-up ads. Yahoo! Companion Toolbar. Now with Pop-Up Blocker. Get it for free!

RARA-AVIS home page:
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Aug 2004 EDT