Re: RARA-AVIS: Another Heresy -- The Black Mask and other pulp fiction

From: Dennis Lynds (
Date: 04 May 2005

If I can put in my newcomer's two-cents, a few years ago I reread all of Hammet's novels, and RED HARVEST does not stand up. It's cliched and terribly dated. On the other hand I was totally surprised by THE THIN MAN. If you read it carefully, and try to forget the movie, it's a pretty damn good novel with much to say. The three in the middle hold up just fine, and THIN MAN deserves a reassessment, Robert Parker to the contrary.

Of course, I must repeat, none of us hit the bullseye every time. There are a few of my own early stories I could not reprint largely because the plot doen't really hold water. And I'm not too happy about some of the early style, nor do I think some of my novels are quite up to snuff.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bludis Jack" <> To: <> Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 5:32 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Another Heresy -- The Black Mask and other pulp fiction

> Something that many of us at Rara_Avis miss is
> that not all of Chandler and Hammett was great.
> It's a comment rarely made here. Many of us seem
> to have the opinion that just because C or H
> wrote it, it must be good. Some of it is just
> crap where we are treated ti the development of
> the hardboiled genre.
> Many of their Black Mask stories were just "shoot
> 'em ups." with little character develoment and
> hardly any story line. For me, even *Red
> Harvest,* a combination of six novellas with each
> judged individually, is just a shoot 'em up.
> It was the demand of the pulp fiction crime story
> of the day. Others who wrote this stuff are
> forgotten beccause they never went on to write
> great novels as Chandler and Harris did.
> Jack Bludis
> -- updated
> "Shadow of the Dahlia" now at
> "Shadow" has been nominated for a Shamus
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