On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 8:58 PM, <DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net> wrote:
> Mario wrote:"Aren't you thinking of Blood Money? I like this "novel" made
> up of twostories, very pulpy,"
> Yes, I am. Big Knockover was the other story. I think of it under that
> title because I first read it in the short story collection with that title.
I believe the actual title is $106,000 BLOOD MONEY, and yes, it and THE BIG
KNOCKOVER are two halves of the same story. Furthermore, I agree, it is
definitely worth reading.
I have to chime in here because if there's a bigger fan of Hammett's short
stories out there I don't know of them. So many of his works are no
available in Black Lizard collections such as THE CONTINENTAL OP and
NIGHTMARE TOWN. When I think of Hammett of course I think of the novels,
MALTESE FALCON, THE GLASS KEY, THIN MAN and the much weaker RED HARVEST (You
could tell with it that he had cobbled together at least for shorter form
pieces) and THE DAIN CURSE (My least favorite of his books), hell, you can
even get that so-so later novelette of his, WOMAN IN THE DARK... but I also
think of short stories.
Titles like "Fly Paper," "Dead Yellow Women," "The Gutting of Couffignal,"
"The Scorched Face" (my favorite of his stories), "The House on Turk Street, and its sequel, "The Girl With the Silver Eyes," all come to mind. GREAT stuff.
With Hammett it's nice to read them in order, because it's fun to witness
his development as a writer, and this is all the more true of Chandler, and
particularly with Chandler's short stories. "Blackmailers Don't Shoot," his
very first published short, is just awful. But he got better, and stuff
like "Guns at Cyrano's," "Red Wind" "No Crime in the Mountains," "Bay City
Blues," and Spanish Blood" followed. Chandler lifted a lot of the stuff
from the short stories he wrote for venues such as BLACK MASK in the 1930s
and used it in his novels (he called it "cannibalizing" them). So if you're
interested in tracking his development as a writer, reading his short
stories and then his novels might be helpful. I'm envious. Although I can
read all of this stuff over and over again, I can never again read THE LONG
GOODBYE or THE GLASS KEY again.
As for names to add to your list, I recommend Ross MacDonald, because he
started writing in the 40s, his Lew Archer series detective started out very
hardboiled, and in the 50s, (beginning with stuff like THE DROWNING POOL)
his novels evolved into more psychological studies. By the time he wrote
THE DOOMSTERS (1959) Archer seemed in many ways to be part social worker,
helping the rich with the long-buried sins that were jeopardizing their
futures (namely their children). Many novels mining the same terrain
followed during the next six or so years: THE CHILL, THE GALTON CASE, THE
WYCHERLY WOMAN, THE ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE, BLACK MONEY (his personal
favorite), and he went on to write others until his final novel THE BLUE
HAMMER, in 1976.
It's been said before with some validity that MacDonald wrote the same novel
over and over, but man, what a novel, and what variations on a theme!
Hope this helps-
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