RARA-AVIS: Thompson or Goodis?

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dz@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 30 Sep 2006

Bill Crider has been posting very entertaining video on his blog, http://billcrider.blogspot.com/, where he has been interviewing folks at Bouchercon, mostly with this question, along with the choice of Bogart or Mitchum.

It would be interesting to see how RARA AVIS folks respond to this. Personally, I put Thompson and Hammett at the top (although I consider Rex Stout the best pure writer of all the crime fiction writers of the last 70 years), with everyone else somewhere below-- Goodis somewhere under Willeford and slightly above Dan Marlowe. Goodis is probably a technically sounder writer than Thompson, but Thompson hits moment of absolute brilliance in his writing that puts him at a special level--at least for me.

As far as Bogart or Mitchum--with all due respect to Robert Mitchum, who was great in Night of the Hunter and Out of the Past, I'd have to pick Bogart in a landslide. Range and screen presense he showed in Treasure of Sierre Madre, Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, African Queen, The Roaring Twenties, The Petrified Forest, The Caine Mutiny, In a Lonely Place, among many others, could only be rivaled by Cagney, DeNiro, and maybe Pacino.

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
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