Re: RARA-AVIS: The Golden Age of American Crime Fiction

From: Patrick King (
Date: 01 May 2008

--- jacquesdebierue <> wrote:
 You can't really say that Spillane and
> Fleming represent the
> era. Not if "represent" means what it is supposed to
> mean.
***************************************************** I'm not saying they "represent" the era. I'm saying they left an indelible impression on publishers. Their concepts of story telling became the standard. They eliminated the difficult task of creating a problem for the protagonist & reader to solve. They replaced this with suspense and hence became "thriller" writers. These were more interesting to large numbers of readers who don't want the trouble of trying to solve a mystery and enjoy the visceral descriptions of violence and passion. I don't say this in judgement. I love thrillers. But what Hammett and Chandler offered as hardboiled writers was much less represented in new books by 1960. As you point out, those books that did hold to the formula they championed were paperback originals. Nothing wrong with that either. But it does say something about publishing.

Patrick King

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