Re: RARA-AVIS: Carter Brown

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 13 Jul 2006

Ed Lynskey wrote:

I'll test drive Carter Brown in a few days with a wary eye.

************ My feeling about The Body was that if Carter Brown had taken the time, he would have been close to JDM in style and quality. Unfortunately, there was little call for that in the environment he was writing in.

In 1939 the Australian government imposed a tariff on American books that was so high it effectively cut off the supply. Up until this time Australia had been an avid consumer of America's hardboiled fiction. More from my review:

Starved for femmes fatale and smoking Thompsons, Australia rose to the challenge to produce its own homegrown hardboiled. Publishers such as Horwitz and Cleveland sought out local authors and paid them by the word to churn out hundreds of short novels every month. It was commercial literature at its worst. The plots were corny and the dialog vapid, but the publishers were paying for quantity, not quality. At first they imitated that which they replaced. The settings were predominantly big U.S. cities, and lots of alcohol mixed with beautiful but dangerous women to revolve around a murder.


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