RARA-AVIS: Re: Piccirilli (was: Re: Jack O'Connell's top 10 books of 2008)

From: davezeltserman (davezelt@rcn.com)
Date: 10 Jan 2009

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    I would argue that Huston's 'Caught Stealing', a book I very much enjoyed, is pure pulp, as opposed to noir. Yes, there's a sense of danger throughout the book, but there's no overriding sense of doom.

    Btw. As much as I enjoyed 'Caught Stealing', I found the second book in the series a kind of tired and less imaginative retread of the first (which another Rara Avian commented the same on), and the 3rd in the series left me with little interest to read anything more by Huston.


    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "jacquesdebierue"
    <jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:
    > Without getting bogged down in a discussion of definitions, it is
    > entirely possible for a noir novel to not destroy the protagonist at
    > the end or stop him or her forever. An example is Kent Harrington's
    > Dark Ride. Another is the Ripley series by Patricia Highsmith. Another
    > is Charlie Huston's _Caught Stealing_. There are many examples, even
    > in Woolrich (Rear Window is a very well known one).
    > Noir allows for many variations, from simple bad luck that engulfs and
    > tries to destroy a person, to a psychopath doing things, to petty
    > crooks getting into something way worse that they can't stop, etc.
    > Noir is not a formula nor does it depend on a formula. That is why is
    > such a vital genre and why, for example, Jason Starr's novels are so
    > totally different from one another but they're all noir, without
    > question. Or Patricia Highsmith's large variety of noir stories. What
    > do Ripley, Strangers on a Train, Edith's Diary and That Sweet Sickness
    > have in common? Not a discernible formula, I would say.
    > Best,
    > mrt

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