RARA-AVIS: Re:Contract Null and Void by Gores

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Jun 2007

I think all of Gores's work fits in nicely in some corner of the hardboiled world, as practiced in the pulps, then by Hammett and others in book form, and then in the original paperback era. Many hardboiled authors were also "light", in the sense that the toughness of the characters and the sordidness of the situations did not preclude humor (irony on a minor or large scale, even grotesque humor).

If you look at Gores's characters, they are almost all hardboiled to the core. The situations vary, and some (32 Cadillacs and its sequel) allow for humor on a large scale. In my opinion, the humor does not overshadow the essentially hardboiled nature of these stories. The King of the Gypsies, for example, is an ultraharboiled little old man. Jana Poteet, another gypsy, is a perfect specimen of hardboiled female, probably one of the best in all of hardboiled literature.

Every time Gores is discussed, I feel obliged to ask the same question: why has he not been named a Grand Master by MWA? If anyone is the optimal candidate, that is Joe Gores. Very high quality, excitement, enduring body of work, a personal style, versatility... and popularity as well.

Best regards,


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