RARA-AVIS: W. R. Burnett's "Dark Hazard" (1933)

From: prosperena (prosperena@yahoo.com)
Date: 30 Jun 2009

  • Next message: Jack Bludis: "RARA-AVIS: This May sum up the crisis"

    In deciding which of Burnett's novels to read after "Little Caesar," I noticed an 11 Jan 2009 post from RA member Allan Guthrie recommending "Dark Hazard" as a "stand out." Just finished it and agree completely. Burnett writes with a detached sympathy for all his characters, from the easy-going, irresponsible gambler Jim Turner to his conventional, stick-in-the-mud wife Marg. Jim's love for the racing greyhound Dark Hazard, the real center of the story, is touching without sentimentalization. The narrative moves neatly along and Burnett's spare descriptions of place are nevertheless evocative. His descriptions of greyhound races are vivid and realistic. I guess they should be; Burnett owned the dog that co-starred in the 1934 Warner Bros. adaptation of the novel. Check out the "Dark Hazard" trailer at tcm.com: http://www.tcm.com/video/videoPlayer/?cid=144881&titleId=2885 to see W. R. Burnett himself along with the film's co-stars Edward G. Robinson and Burnett's own record-holding racing greyhound War Cry as they "casually" run into each other in the "Hollywood Book Store."

    Kari E. Johnson

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 Jul 2009 EDT