Re: RARA-AVIS: Joe Gores as Gangster Writer

Date: 01 Feb 2008

I second Jacques expression of appreciation for all of your efforts this past month, and in general.

I'm just about done WOLF TIME and I'm curious whether, in your opinion, you would consider Hollis Fletcher an amateur or a professional. He is clearly an expert hunter/tracker but he himself expresses doubts about his ability to transfer those skills to tracking down the person that shot and crippled him. And, on the other side of the coin, there are plenty of professional politicians, but would you consider them professional 'bad guys' in the traditional sense?

Thanks again! Harry

Quoting JIM DOHERTY <>:

> Since this is the last day of Joe Gores month, I felt
> at least one more post (and perhaps a thread, if this
> post generates one) was called for.
> I've observed elsewhere that hard-boiled/noir crime
> stories tends to be about professionals. On both
> sides of the fence. Good guys tend to be cops,
> private eyes, spies, etc.
> Bad guys tend to be organized crime figures, armed
> robbers, drug dealers, enemy agents, etc.
> I'm talking about trends here, of course, not hard and
> fast rules, but it strikes me that the cozy tends to
> be as much about amateur criminals as it is about
> amateur sleuths. In the hard-boiled/noir world, it
> takes a professional to survive.
> Joe Gores seems to exemplify this trend better than
> most. Although his first novel, A TIME OF PREDATORS,
> has amateurs on both sides of the fence, by and large
> he deals with pros, professional criminals as much as
> professional crime-solvers.
> The main character in his Edgar-winning short story,
> "Goodbye,Pops," is a latter-day Dillinger type, a
> prison escapee heading ultimately to a shoot-out with
> the cops hot on his trail.
> The initial DKA trilogy pits Kearney and his staff
> against mobsters modeled on Jimmy "The Weasel"
> Frattiano and his confederates.
> MENACED ASSASSIN pits an SFPD Organized Crime
> specialist against a Syndicate hit man.
> Even the gypsies of the later DKA novels, for all
> their tribal traditions and rituals, are essentially
> nothing but professional thieves.
> The prevalence of pros in Gores's work will, in the
> coming month, provide something of a counterpoint to
> Cornell Woolrich, whose work is much more likely to
> feature amateurs in both the heroic and villainous
> roles.
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