RARA-AVIS: Re: redneck noir

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 24 Mar 2006

For Redneck noir books I would nominate James Crumley's books especially the later ones. Mexican Tree Duck features Crumley's great Sughrue, an alcoholic, drug-addicted private detective in a small Montana town, but originally from Texas, who first takes on, then befriends a biker gang that lives in a burned out school bus. Then Sughure rounds up a team of burned-out Vietnam vets who seem to enjoy reliving the war, and who happily stay in an old hippie commune in rural Texas while working the case. Sughrue would happily classify himself as a "redneck." All of Crumley's books are solid noir.

I also suggest Stephen Hunter's Dirty White Boys, which is more heavy on the redneck than the noir. Sure, Bud Pewtie (a truly great redneck name) is a Sheriff of a rural town, but he's an alcoholic cop, having an affair with his partners wife while his life swirls out of is control, which qualifies as noir. Bud takes on a twisted redneck escaped convict named Lamar Pye and his deranged, apparently inbred brother Odell, The book turns into a Terminator-esque series of shoot-outs at the end, but in the early parts when the book focuses on Lamar's prison story it's entertaining and very noir.


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