Re: RARA-AVIS: Real Cool Killers

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 15 Jul 2007

Hmm. Aren't most of these points applicable to a wide range of the authors we discuss? Try Hammett, Cain, McCoy, Thompson and see how they score. I can't actually think of a single exception to #4. #6 is interesting, but almost inevitable if you're writing a series about detectives who use violence -- they have to succeed or there's no sequel (as an aside, I'm not sure how 'successful' Hammer is: the brilliant opening chapter of ONE LONELY NIGHT [credit where it's due] would suggest otherwise). But, fine. You see the similarities between Himes and Spillane. I see the differences. That's why we have our own eyes.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Michael Robison
  Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2007 1:35 AM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Real Cool Killers

  Allan Guthrie wrote:

  Himes was one of a kind... I don't see him being at
  all like Spillane, though.

  Really? Well, I can mention a few ways that I see The
  Real Cool Killers as being similar to Spillane's Mike
  Hammer novels.

  1. His two protagonists are raging extemists.

  2. The protagonists see violence as a favored option
  in dealing with anyone who gets in the way of them
  achieving their goals.

  3. The goals of the protagonists do not exactly
  parallel the law.

  4. The protagonists live in a violent and
  crime-filled world.

  5. When the protagonists occasionally decide to
  exhibit a little compassion, a fallen woman is a
  standard choice.

  6. The protagonists succeed because of their violent
  vigilante ways.


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