Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The 150 Best Harboiled/Noir 1929-69

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (
Date: 08 Jan 2008

> OK, but the thread and list were titled "150 Best Hardboiled/Noir" - it
> seems "My Favorite 150 Hardboiled/Noir" would have made more sense,
> and while "best" will always be subjective, one would also assume the
> author of such a list would have read a certain amount of titles and
> authors
> within the genre, if they are going to undergo to make a list with such a
> lofty title - the list just seemed absurdly limited in scope.

Yes, your point is good that the creator of the list would have to have read a certain amount, a considerable amount, of books to compile such a list. And you're right, "best" is always subjective, but then it's the list of someone who has read hundreds of books in the genre, which makes such opinion valuable in and of itself.

The compiler of such a list would have to have read extensively in the genre to have the confidence to post such a list and take on all critics. Would he have to qualify it by calling it "My Favorite . . . " or "The Best in My Opinion"? It's understood it's his opinion--not yours--we haven't seen your list. We've only seen mine and Allan's and those are two guys whose opinion I respect.

As I pointed out in the preface to the list, the availability of titles is one of the biggest factors in determining what we here on the list read. And as another critic of the list pointed out, in case I was being too subtle, that it was heavily weighted in favor of books that have been reprinted. Well, these books have been reprinted with good reason--they're great books.


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