Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: hardboiled comedy

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 08 Mar 2005

Miker wrote:

> 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.

Read any Pelecanos lately? Try RIGHT AS RAIN. There's a laugh-riot for ya. I did find humor in that book, though it struck me as the unintended-because-it-was-really-intended-to-be-terribly-ironic-stuff variety of humor. But hey, what do I know. Pelecanos sells, and that's no lie.

And not to stick up for MacDonald, but after the beating he took on this list when we group read BLACK MONEY a while back, I have to say that I do find him funny. For my money his observational style of writing smacks of Seinfeld's brand of observational humor, so the humor is there, it's just neither punny/wisecracky (see Parker, Robert B.) nor slap-stick (see Hiassen, Carl).

Come to think of it, what about Robert Crais? I have only read LA REQUIEM, but it didn't seem that funny (although that Terminator-like partner of Elvis Cole's, Joe Something-or-other was pretty unintentionally funny to me).

Your Mileage May Vary-

Brian Thornton

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