I can't comment on Flexer's book, although I must admit this discussion has piqued my interest.
However, Kevin, do you really think "silly noir" is something new? And is your problem with Flexer's contribution alone or the whole approach? I really can't tell.
Have you read Charlie Huston's Hank Thompson trilogy? Al's Hard Man? Charlie Williams's Deadfolk? Ken Bruen's Brant books? Or his Hard Case collaboratiosn with Jason Starr? Did you take them seriously? And those are just the newer examples. Steve Aylett, for example, has been doing it for a while. This is all qualitatively different from, say, Westlake's comic noirs. They are far more vulgar, far darker than those, but I certainly see them as comic noirs.
Of course it can be done well or poorly. I haven't been convinced by Aylett's contributions I've read, but I've enjoyed the others quite a bit, as both noir and comedy. They often make me laugh out loud.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Jun 2009 EDT