Re: RARA-AVIS: Who changed the noir writing ?

From: Tim Wohlforth (
Date: 13 Mar 2007


I have been thinking a lot about this question. However, I feel we first need to identify what new trends typify contemporary noir and then proceed to name writers who contributed to those elements.

In answer to the first question it seems to me that contemporary noir is more conscious of and innovative in using language and style. Secondly, reflecting the general trend in contemporary crime writing, more emphasis is put on character. This does not, should not, mean neglect of plot. Thirdly, there is a richness in description that suggests the difference between classic black and white movies and technicolor. Fourthly, contemporary noir is not quite as bleak as classic noir permitting to quote Woody Allen "a tiny flame flickering in an immense void."

With these characteristics in mind I would suggest the following writers as innovative:

Style/language: Ken Bruen, Megan Abbott

Character/description: Lehane's Mystic River, arguably the finest contemporary crime novel.

Flickering light: We find this in one of Lehane's three main characters (The cop) but I tend to associate this more with Connelly's Bosch novels.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Mar 2007 EDT