RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Best noir novel (was Red Right Hand)

From: Ron Clinton (
Date: 03 Mar 2009

  • Next message: Ron Clinton: "RARA-AVIS: Russell Hill (was: Re: Best noir novel (was Red Right Hand))"

    > because right now DOUBLE INDEMNITY stands alone--I can't
    > think of another to put next to it. The novel is so lean and
    > tight, and while I had seen the film several times NOTHING
    > could have prepared me for that ending. Stunning,
    > terrifying--nothing like it anywhere I've ever seen, and in
    > the hands of almost any other writer that ending would have
    > been corny rather than utterly blood-chilling.
    > >
    > I agree completely about your sentiments for Double
    > Indemnity, the ending is absolutely chilling. Postman,
    > Serenade, also great books.

    DOUBLE INDEMNITY is a close cousin to POSTMAN in terms of excellence, and it's one that I always recommend when asked for an essential reading list of noir. I still contend, though, that POSTMAN is the better, more compelling, novel of the two in nearly every way...but only just a bit. Franklin Mystery put out a nice red-leatherbound (or faux leather), gold gilt edged volume with both novels in it...a nice (and very affordable) way to read both books back-to-back.
    > For modern noir, going back no more than 10 years, I'd say
    > Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill.

    Couldn't agree more with Dave on this one...I share his special affinity for this recent novel. I've yet to read a noir novel of this new century that surpasses ROBBIE'S WIFE.

    Ron C.

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