Re: RARA-AVIS: Allan Guthrie's Top 200 Noirs

From: Robert Elkin (
Date: 20 Dec 2007

Patrick King wrote: The thing with McBain is that, like Leonard, his characters behave like people [...] Even his villians are just people making a living at things most people don't approve of. They're not malicious until they find themselves in a situation where malice seems like a sole option.

Maybe I'm just overly cynical, Patrick, but in my experience most people delight in maliciousness of one sort or another on a pretty regular basis--did you mean the first half of what I quoted to apply to the second part, or were you just pointing to "Ed McBain"'s portrayal of criminals as existential instead of ideal?

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