Re: RARA-AVIS: HB/Noir Parodies

From: Nigel Algar (
Date: 29 Oct 2007

Richard Hallas¹ YOU PLAY THE BLACK AND THE RED COMES UP, first published in 1938, resides comfortably in the noir pantheon and is accurately described by Lee Server as Œa kind of tough-guy Alice in Wonderland, if Alice was an army-deserting, freight-hopping, opportunistic schmo and Wonderland was Hollywood¹. However there is a strong suspicion, shared by Server, that Hallas, in reality an Englishman who also penned LASSIE COME HOME, was gently guying the genre, albeit with great affection. Parody or not, it¹s still a fine book ­ and regrettably Hallas/Knight¹s sole excursion in the genre as he died in a WWII plane crash.


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