RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes

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

  • Next message: Jack Bludis: "RARA-AVIS: Noir for the Classroom -- Hemingway"

    Al, thinking about this a little bit, I'll stick with my original observation, and that's that publishing has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, specifically crime fiction, with much more resistance by NY to publish dark crime fiction and real noir. Yes, many of the great noir books from Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Charles Williams, Dan Marlowe, Peter Rabe, etc. came from Gold Medal and other paperback publishers, but at least they existed--today, Hard Case is the only equivalent I can think of, and Charles is publishing a tiny fraction of original crime fiction compared to Gold Medal. And I'll stick by that books like Dead City, Cain's Postman and Double Indemnity, Seymour Shubin's Anyone's My Name, Rex Stout's How Like a God, all published by NY as hardcovers would be just about off limits to NY today. All you have to do is look at the most popular PI from the 50s, Mike Hammer, and the last 25 years, Spenser, to see how much crime fiction changed. Btw. who published Cornell Woolrich and Ross Macdonald originally?


    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@...> wrote:
    > Do you really think that much has changed, though, Dave? I don't recall any
    > large NY houses publishing Jim Thompson's great noir books back in the 50s
    > either. And James Cain had trouble getting published for most of his career.
    > So much so that several of his novels have never been published. Cain based
    > Double Indemnity on a real life case, which seems to make noir more
    > accessible to the general public (David Peace and Megan Abbott spring
    > immediately to mind).
    > Al
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "davezeltserman" <Dave.Zeltserman@...>
    > To: <rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com>
    > Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 2:09 PM
    > Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small Crimes
    > > 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).
    > >
    > > --Dave

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Mar 2010 EST