> I´m reading all of James Crumley to write a piece - presentation,
> whatever - om him for a Swedish book about noir and hard boiled crime
> authors. The american private eye is/was always a relative to the
> cowboy but it seems to me that Crumley´s fiction is/was the closest to
> western/cowboy novels that american noir crime novels will ever get.
> So I´m thinking about the connection between the two - or the one -
> genre(s), between american crime novels and the myth of the american
> and cowboy myth. Has there been anything written about this? Am I
> right? You
> have any thoughts that can send me in the right direction when I start
> writing? Any suggestion of other american crime writers who come
> close to
> western cowboy novels - or writers of cowboy fiction who come close
> to crime
> novels? Or anything!
Off the top of my head, other writers equally at home wearing fedoras
and Stetsons include Ed Gorman, Robert Randisi, Elmore Leonard, Robert
B. Parker, Loren Estleman and Brian Garfield.
Oh, and that Reasoner guy and that Doherty guy .
For example, Randisi's on book #3456732 of the western series he
writes as J.D. Roberts, and last year's two big soap operas, 3:10 TO
YUMA (so-so) and APPALOOSA (pretty good), were based on works by
Leonard and Parker, respectively.
Certainly it's not a new idea -- more than one wag has suggested that
some of the detective work in Conan Doyle's work owes quite a bit to
Natty Bumpo's "tracking" in Cooper's LAST OF THE MOHICANS, and whether
it was conscious or not, Hammett himself wrote a couple of westerny
If you're interested in what others have to say on the cowpoke/shamus
connection, besides the ones mentioned, Parker wrote his doctoral
thesis on the evolution of the American Hero, beginning with the
colonial period (Cooper) and right through the cowboy era, ending up
with twentieth century mystery writers such as Hammett, Chandler and
In fact, it would be pretty easy to change LAST OF THE MOHICANS into a
P.I. novel. After all, it's really just another wandering daughter job
and the hero is just a another guy with a gun and a moral code.
Into this wild land a man must walk, neither tarnished nor afraid...
Kevin Burton Smith
The Thrilling Detective Web Site
"Wasting your time on the web since 1998."
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 Jul 2009 EDT