Re: RARA-AVIS: Ruehlmann

Date: 09 May 2006

Juri wrote:

"I can see, though, what he's getting at: that these lunatics in Murphy's, Pendleton's, Messmann's and others' books stem from the line of Hammett, Chandler and Macdonald. I don't know if he's right, but it's a thought-provoking book."

It's been a very, very long time since I've read the book, but doesn't he actually put the various "-Er" (ExecutionER, DestroyER, etc) books in the Spillane lineage (which, of course, follows in Hammett and Chandler's footsteps, but not Macdonald's), which is even easier to see?

As for the whole fading PI assertion, he wasn't wrong for when he was writing. Although authors like Spillane and Macdonald continued to write popular PI books, very few new series started during the Vietnam War period.

After reading Saint with a Gun, I charted out a bunch of PI writers and found that, in general, very few PI series start during US involvement in foreign wars and clusters of new PI activity seem to follow those wars. The '70s certainly bore that out. I'd hazard a guess that spy fiction also follows a (possibly complementary) pattern based on socio-political trends.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 May 2006 EDT