Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: hardboiled comedy

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 07 Mar 2005

Kerry J. Schooley wrote:

What hardboiled or noir writing is completely devoid of humour?

************ Since people can find humor in just about anything, it's hard to peg something as completely devoid of humor but, from my reading, Ross Macdonald comes closer than any other hardboiled/noir writer. Come to think of it, McGivern isn't exactly a barrel of monkeys, either.

Although wise-cracking PIs can always be counted on for wit, probably the best humor is forged in irony. The ending of NIGHTMARE ALLEY is a classic example. In this way, some of the darkest material carries a ray of comic relief. Derek Raymond, William Faulkner, James Cain, Kent Harrington, and others knew what they were doing.


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