Re: RARA-AVIS: Raoul Whitfield's Green Ice

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 26 Oct 2004

Brian Evankovich wrote:

Has anybody read Raoul Whitfield's "Green Ice", a novel that Hammett really, really liked? Methinks Mr. Dash was drunk when he wrote his four star review, because I couldn't get past chapter three. The writing was good, and a flip through the book showed some smart lines, but without any solid characterization
(or clear plotting) it fell flat. Anybody have an opposite opinion? What can you say that will make me try again? I really wanted to enjoy it

*********** There were a few things I didn't like about it, but my complaints were different than yours and, overall, I liked it.

Other than the protagonist, there typically wasn't a lot of character development in early hardboiled. Plot was everything, with mood running a close second.
 I would point to RED HARVEST as an example. That was one of the things that made MALTESE FALCON noteworthy.
 What was going on inside the characters was significant.

My complaint with the book was its jerky episodic nature, and the protag continually recounting the story line and reanalyzing the facts. I believe the original story was run in installments.

>From what I hear, Whitfield and Hammett were drinking
buddies, whiling away the hours debating the way a hardboiled story should be told. I see a lot of similarity in their writing styles.

I would not recommend you try it again. Too damn many other novels out there waiting to be read.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 26 Oct 2004 EDT