RARA-AVIS: Dark and Funny

From: Donna ( donna.moore@virgin.net)
Date: 23 Oct 2004

TL said:

>I think there is a black humor element involved in the best of noir that makes it truly human.

I definitely agree. I love both noir/hardboiled (not touching THAT discussion) and humour - so when I can get both in the same book then I'm well chuffed. For me the combination of dark and funny, when done well, makes the dark bits darker and the funny bits funnier. Sometimes, there are things which are ONLY funny because they happen in such bleak circumstances.

 I agree on all the names mentioned here - Ken Bruen (who can make me cry, gasp and laugh on the same page - which is really embarrassing if you're sitting on the bus at the time - no-one wants to sit next to the crazy lady), Charles Willeford, Jim Thompson, Al Guthrie, Scott Philips
(The Ice Harvest and Cottonwood.). Also Victor Gischler's GUN MONKEYS, Declan Burke's EIGHT BALL BOOGIE, Sean Doolittle, Charlie Stella, James McKimmey's SQUEEZE PLAY, Robert Ferrigno, Mark Haskell-Smith's MOIST, Chris Niles' HELL'S KITCHEN. And, like Bill, I also laughed when reading Jason's TWISTED CITY, and most of his other books (admittedly, it was nervous laughter, and it probably makes me really warped :o)).... I could go on, but I'll stop there.

All the dark and humourous books I like have different levels of darkness, and different types of humour, but I like the combination of sheer misery and black humour. Some might just have one or two throwaway lines, some might have laughs on every page.

We all laugh at the crap things that happen to us. OK, it might not be AS they're happening, but I'd like to think that on my descent into hell I'd find something to laugh about later.

People who can laugh at themselves, and the situations they find themselves in are always people I like, and that goes for characters in books too.

I'll be watching with interest for other suggestions.



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