Re: RARA-AVIS: Block - Hit Man

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 23 Nov 2007

--- In, geir glosvik <oldreilly@...> wrote:
> Hi, yes, I see exactly what you mean. Cozies are for those who like
that stuff, and and that's ok. Just don't mix it into our books. No, this is not irony - I mean it. The one Lehane book I read - in spite of all the chill and the killing - had a cozy tone to it that was misplaced. Dialogue is such an important part of a hard-boiled mystery that a cozy and puerile humour destroys it all. Learn from the masters! And Block is a master - at least in his Matt Scudder books.

Let's not forge the "midboiled category", neither cozy nor hardboiled. Enough loosening of the hardboiled strictures to give the novel a more naturalistic tone, yet not a prefabricated puzzle or a heartwarming yarn. I believe Lehane is midboiled, as is Sue Grafton. It's the kind of story that can be sold to both sexes, a definite advantage. This is only a conjecture, fully unsubstantiated, so please don't throw bricks. You can throw only first editions of Chandler and Hammett.

Now about Hit Man: After reading the first story about Keller, it seemed to me that I knew the character. That was too soon. Later reading lacked surprises, though it is all very well done, smooth as hell. Still, I would not say that the Keller stories are cozies. The substratum is very dark and the style is muted rather than cozy. At least, none of the Keller stories made me feel warm and fuzzy.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Nov 2007 EST