RARA-AVIS: Re: Best Endings

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Mar 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, JIM DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@...> wrote:
> Dave,
> Re your comment below:
> " . . . 'The Gutting of Couffignal' is something
> special, with the ending perfectly wrapping up the
> story."
> You and Tim are absolutely right. But you don't go
> far enough.
> "Couffignal" is not merely "something special." It's
> nothing except the best private eye short story ever
> written. And by a guy who would, a few years later
> write the best private eye novel ever written (a novel
> for which "Couffignal" was, in some respects,
> particularly the ending, a dry run).

It's a great story allright. With it, Hammett wrote the book on modern hardboiled writing. Everybody talks about Hemingway's _The Killers_, but I think Couffignal is an even better cornerstone. I cannot call it anything but perfect.



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