RARA-AVIS: "Death Becomes Them"-Noir-Newsweek.

From: Jack Bludis (buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 02 Aug 2009

  • Next message: annvon78: "RARA-AVIS: Re: "Death Becomes Them"-Noir-Newsweek."

    Thanks again, Allan, for calling this Newsweek article to our attention:


    A line inside the article that I particularly agreed with was:

    "It's not the mechanics that make noir work. It's the emotional core of the story that has to ring true."

    Another thing I liked in the article was that he names some of the top crime writers today while seeming to declare that a new era is upon us:

    "Writers such as James Ellroy, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, Donald Westlake, Walter Mosley, Laura Lippman, James Sallis, Megan Abbott, and George Pelecanos have managed to infuse crime novels with a quality of writing not seen since the days of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and James M. Cain."

    Laura Lippman is the one writer of this group that seldom gets discussed here, but her standalones are pretty dark.

    It's also interesting to note that the three covers used to illustrate the article are from one of our (at least many of us here) favorite publishers, "Hard Case Crime."

    Although someone someplace recently, maybe here, said they would never read Thomas Pynchon, part of this article is a review of Pynchon's "Inerent Vice," which sound interesting enough.

    Although I have often quit on his books, I may have to read this one. Which takes the private-eye into the 70s. My recollection is that the late 60s slid up to the 70s. It started with "the hippies" and slid up to pot parties in otherwise respectable homes, apartments, campuses, and even to the streets of at least NYC and Baltimore, probably other cities as well.

    BTW: My short-story take on the 70s, "Munchies" was nominated for a Shamus and Anthony in 2004 and is still up at:


    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that it originally appeared in the anthology "Hardbroiled," (That's "broiled" as in the oven) edited by Michael Bracken.

    This last bit of BSP descended upon me while I was thinking of the Pynchon part of the "noir" article.

    Mea Culpa.

    Jack Bludis


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