Re: RARA-AVIS: Carter Brown

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 13 Jul 2006

--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> 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.

Interesting background. I scanned a few pages last night of my Carter Brown. You pretty much describe what I read. I wonder if any "gems" emerged from this flurry of writing. I'd be willing to bet U.S. pulp in the 1930s had its own share of bad writing. A few "gems" (aside from Hammett and Chandler) also fell out. Bruno Fischer comes to immediately to mind.



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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Jul 2006 EDT