Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Random Notes On Redemption

From: Patrick King (
Date: 04 Sep 2009

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    In Jim Thompson's "After Dark, My Sweet", Kid Collins achieves his own unique form of redemption, and I think most people would agree that that book fits solidly in the noir universe. I can think of also another noir book (at least a book that critics uniformly labeled as noir) all about the protagonist' s quest for redemption, and his missteps along the way, as well as a number of small crimes...


    Medically, Kid Collins' condition inhibited his ability to make normal decisions. This was confirmed by the doctor he went to live with briefly early in the book. As he reminds Faye & Uncle Bud repeatedly, he's not stupid, but he's also not rational. I suppose, symbolically, we can view the end of that story as William Collins achieving "redemption," whatever that may be. But more empirically it's just another bad decision he made... his last one.

    Patrick King


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