Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir series

Date: 14 Sep 2007

Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor series certainly has noir elements, but I think I agree with the others that it is exactly the series elements that keep it from really attaining that label. Although he struggles with his sobriety and dark elements in his life, there's really never any doubt he'll survive. Bruen's standalones, however, are great noir. Be interesting to see if the sequel to his and Starr's Bust will be noir as the standalone becomes a series.

Still there are two series I would consider noir: the one with Charlie Huston's with Hank Thompson and James Sallis's with Lew Griffin. Of course, it could be argued that Huston's over the top trilogy is actually an extended novel, a continuation of the same story. Some might aruge that its perverse humor discounts the noir label, but I see it as laughing while the plane is going down. Sallis's is more personal noir. Lew may have his ups (at times is actually quite successful in career terms), but the gloom and doom are never far from his life. Again, this is a series with an end. Maybe that's the requirement,that the series has an end where noir can have an ultimate payoff.

I've only read Kiss Me Judas by Baer. Does the trilogy overall qualify?
(And are the other two worth reading? I liked the style of Kiss ME, but I must admit I had some reservations about his use of the cliche kidney snatching urban legend.)


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