RE : RARA-AVIS: Hard-Boiled Frenchmen

From: E. Borgers (
Date: 23 Mar 2007

Mark already confirmed Nestor Burma, French PI created by Leo Malet, one of the founders of modern HB/noir in France. Not much of the series was translated.
  You must understand that it is far more difficult to make a French PI believable as the official status of a PI in that country makes the detective very controlled in his actions, spheres and inquiries. This explains that there are not so many; however under the American influence, some authors did create "classic" PIs acting in France, often not very believable for a French reader, and not always of great interest.
  So, to go around the difficulty, French authors will from time to time use private detectives, without real status: sorts of occasional free-lances.
  =Quite recently, Patrick Raynal created a HB PI, having an office and doing regularly investigations for clients: Corbucci. A very good Gallicised tribute to the genre (there are 3 books until now, the first one being a collection of shorts). I don't think any were translated.
  =Jean-Patrick Manchette (a very influential author - the best of his generation), in two of his novels, created a totally atypical PI: Eug讥 Tarpon. They are not translated.
  The first one (1973: "Morgue pleine" = the morgue is full) was adapted for film, and is probably until now the best adaptation of Manchette's work for film: POLAR (France - 1983)
  =ADG - another important HB/noir author, having had influences on the authors that followed- used a trick in a series: his "detective" is in fact a journalist working in the deepest of deep provincial France. Name: Serguie Djerbiskine, nicknamed Machin, because nobody can remember his name or pronounce it. Atypical, anarchist but not leftist, obese, this character is an achievement. Plus irony and black humor. Not translated.
  =Jean Mazarin: quite a prolific author, but with some real achievements. He created a series with a PI living in south of France: Francklin Puntacavallo. I do not think it was ever translated.
  There are others, but often of minor interest.
  Hope this helps.

ninposamurai <> a 飲it : Hi. How many hard-boiled French detectives,are there? There's not many,PI'S,that i know of. Thank You! Sincerely, Jeff Brown


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