RARA-AVIS: Re: Walter Mosley and bad-ass sidekicks

From: Richard Moore (moorich@aol.com)
Date: 01 Sep 2008

  • Next message: Ed Lynskey: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Walter Mosley and bad-ass sidekicks"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Ed Lynskey <e_lynskey@...> wrote:
    > --- On Mon, 9/1/08, DJ-Anonyme@... <DJ-Anonyme@...> wrote:
    > > Some point out that Ralph Dennis's Hardman series
    > > introduced the moral/psycho zebra pairing before Hawk entered the
    > > series (I forget, in which book did Hawk first appear?), but from
    > > too few Hardman books I've read as they crumbled in my hands, I
    > > got a real sense of a moral dichotomy between them. They were
    > > buddies and partners, and neither is above some illegal gains.
    > >
    > This was my sense after reading RD's Hardman. Hump Evans, IIRC, was
    the larger of the pair (ex-footballer) and did a lot of the head knocking.
    > Ed

    Hump Evans had been a lineman in the National Football League and was certainly larger than Jim Hardman. However, he was certainly not a psycho. As Ed said, they were drinking buddies and Hump often helped Hardman on cases both legal and illegal. When rough stuff was required, Hardman did his share, although it took him a bit more effort than Hump.

    Some cases originated with Hump as in THE ONE-DOLLAR RIPOFF when Hump bought a chance on a gambling punchcard where a dollar bought a chance to predict the score of a Monday Night Football game. Hump won the pot and then foundout he had been cheated. Even though it was just a dollar, he and Hardman tracked down the cheater which led to more troubles. Although not the best Hardman novel, I am fond of it because the opening scenes floated between two neighboring Atlanta bars Moe and Joe's and George's that can still be found on North Highland Avenue. George's (in the 1970s called George's Deli) was Ralph Dennis' favorite bar as he liked the bartender who turns up now and then in the novels. In fact, I was contacted by the late bartender's son who read an earlier mention of his dad in something I wrote and I sent him a copy of the novel. Today, I prefer Moe and Joe's which has Pabst on tap, good burgers and an atmosphere little changed from the 1970s.

    Another character who turns up in the series is a black gangster who sometimes calls on Hardman for help as in the novel WORKING FOR THE MAN. Hump sometimes helps Hardman out but the primary relationship is between the gangster (usually called The Man) and Hardman.

    Joe Lansdale once told me that he was a big fan of the Hardman novels and they were one of the inspirations for his mixed racial duo.

    Richard Moore

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 Sep 2008 EDT