Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: talking tough

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 03 Jun 2009

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     L. T. Fawkes has a series about Terry Saltz, a working-class guy who lives in a doublewide somewhere in Ohio, and it's all "normal," meaning no condescension. It isn't noir, and it's rarely hardboiled, but it's crime fiction. IIRC there's an ex-wife who tries to take him for all he's worth, which isn't much, while he's in jail after a bar fight, which is regarded as the normal course of life. In the first book, Terry's delivering pizza, getting coworkers' tips on getting better tips. In the second book, he's doing construction, adding a deck.
        "Fawkes" self-published Cold Slice, and a publisher picked up the series and gave her a male-sounding nom de plume. I liked the self-published one best; it was a little rawer around the edges. I can't remember her real name, but maybe I'll find the book in one of these boxes someday. Joy

    Kevin Burton Smith wrote:
    > Kerry wrote:
    >> Narratives about the misdeeds of the commercially powerful are
    >> perennially popular, but are there any new noir yarns that take
    >> place in the milieu of low-skilled workers displaced in the shift
    >> from an industrial to a service and information-based economy? Or
    >> has noir been displaced by reality TV?
    > Actually, I rather enjoyed FEAR THE WORST, our ol' pal Linwood
    > Barclay's latest domestic noir (or whatever you call it).
    > The protagonist is a used car salesman, circling the drain, whose
    > seventeen year-old daughter disappears. Barclay doesn't quite hit all
    > the noir buttons (he never gets quite thematically dark enough) but in
    > the hands of a latter day Hitchcock or Dymytryk, this would make a
    > really fine film noir. Maxing out your credit cards and possibly
    > risking your job to fly across country to rescue your daughter?
    > Priceless.
    > It's a welcome change from Harlan Coben's similarly themed domestics
    > which seem to be taking place in an increasingly UMC world. HOLD
    > TIGHT, for example, has a surgeon/lawyer couple at its core. Maybe we
    > could call that Huxtable noir.
    > One of the problems some neo-noir writers seem to have is this
    > patronizing theme that being working class or unemployed means having
    > no class. Being unemployed doesn't necessarily automatically make you
    > start saying "Fuck" every two words, or suddenly want to take a belt
    > sander to your wife.

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