RARA-AVIS: Re: westner vs noir, cowboy vs private eye

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 08 Jul 2009

  • Next message: JIM DOHERTY: "RARA-AVIS: Re: western vs noir, cowboy vs private eye"

    Bengt wrote:

    > Let me ask you one more question:
    > Is James Crumley noir or hard-boiled or both - and why?

    At his best (THE LAST GOOD KISS, THE WRONG CASE) he's both.

    At his worst, he verges on silly. I forget which one it was
    (BORDERSNAKES?) but it just fumbled on a little too long in search of any real plot. You can only go to the substance-addled quest well so many times, I guess.

    Mind you, Crumley's "worst" still means great characters and great writing. But sometimes his books just seem to spin their wheels forever, without ever going anywhere. Which, I guess, might be intentional. Most of his characters seem to be stuck in their own mud.


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