Re: RARA-AVIS: Charles Williams

From: Jacques Debierue (
Date: 27 Jul 2006

--- In, Doug Bassett <dj_bassett@...> wrote:
> I think Williams was in a lot of ways the ideal of
> that era of hardboiled writing, although his virtues
> don't just leap out at you. He's not a flashy stylist,
> so he's not as easy to sink your teeth into as say
> Goodis or Thompson or Woolrich (I believe I first read
> that insight from Mr. Gorman somewhere, and it's a
> keeper.) As far as I know he never wrote a series
> character, so there's not that hook. It's no wonder
> he's languished in comparison.

Ironically, he's languished while at the same time being increasingly recognized as a classic... His _The Hot Spot_ is one of the most perfect noir novels I have ever read. Powerful stuff, ordinary characters including some very bad people. He is not flashy, but he maintains the tension by very precise dialogue and a good balance between dialogue and description. He can also convey sensuality with great economy and impact. Regarding comments on the price of reprinting: that's too bad. A publisher has to make some money and in 2006 Williams isn't exactly your bestselling author. No noir writer is.



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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 27 Jul 2006 EDT