RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes

From: davezeltserman (Dave.Zeltserman@gmail.com)
Date: 11 Mar 2010

  • Next message: James Michael Rogers: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir for the classroom"

    RJR, I'd say this is true for almost all editors. How much true noir is being published by the large NY houses, not only today but over the last 25 years? Do you think any of the NY houses would now publish books like "Double Indemity" or "Dead City" by Shane Stevens, or any of Jim Thompson's great noir books? I don't want this to sound like I'm putting down Robert Parker, because that is not my intention, but I think part of the legacy of the massive success that his Spenser books has had over the last 25 years is not only do protagonists of crime novels have to be likable, but they had to be fuckable (or at least cuddable). I mean, how likable was the protagonist of "Double Indemnity", Walter Huff? The guy was a heartless sonofabitch, but the book was still one of the most fascinating and gripping crime novels I've ever read, and I can't imagine a single NY editor touching it today if it came in as a new manuscript from a new writer (maybe if it came in from established bestselling writer it might be able to be published).


    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "rrandisi@..." <rrandisi@...> wrote:
    > "Dark" fiction scares the little wet behind the ear girl editors at NY houses these days. My sig-other, Christine Matthews, tried to sell a book to a couple of them, about the aftermath of child abduction and the effect it has on two fathers, and one editor said it was "too sad." Ever heard of Mystic River? And I'm not prejudiced against female editors. Some males have turned it down, also, as being "too dark." Very frustrating. She feels if it were written by a man there wouldn't be a problem.
    > RJR

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