Re: RARA-AVIS: That old stuff

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 17 Jul 2010

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    --- In, "Jeff Vorzimmer" <jvorzimmer@...> wrote:
    > Don't make the mistake of thinking that that attitude wasn't dated in 1957. It was. Hence the difference you see in a other novels from the same year. JDM's writing annoyed people then and I see it's still annoying them today.

    Let me add that one of the virtues of the Hammett style was that the narrator does not judge the characters. That distance makes for a much more durable product. A narrator who goes around spilling opinions all over the place is likely to go out of fashion within a few years.

    Another one whose early work has stayed fresh is Donald Westlake. I recently reread some of his early work, including 361, and there is no sense of datedness. In some of his literary incarnations (Parker series, several standalones), Westlake followed the Hammett model. This guy picked his models well: Hammett for real hardboiled, Wodehouse for comical. The best guy in his respective field, not bad!



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