Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: westerns

From: J.C. Hocking (
Date: 12 Nov 2010

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    Hamilton's Matt Helm "quite hard boiled'? Indeed.  The third Matt Helm, The Removers, might be the most hard boiled espionage novel I ever read. His westerns are good, and often share with the Helm books the kind of protagonist that gets grossly underestimated by his foes and wreaks unexpectedly awful havoc on them, much to the reader's delight.


    ________________________________ From: Patrick Kennedy <> To: Sent: Fri, November 12, 2010 7:22:14 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: westerns

      I think a mention of Donald Hamilton, who wrote the Matt Helm series (forget those awful Dean Martin spoof spy vehicles - the books were quite hard boiled) might be in order here.  He started out writing westerns, his most famous being
    'The Big Country' upon which the Gregory Peck movie was based and which contained elements of the non-conformist, independent and quietly tough heroism we more usually associate with the fictional private eye prototype.


    ________________________________ From: sonny <> To: Sent: Fri, 12 November, 2010 21:09:29 Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: westerns

      cool. thanks for the info and link to bill crider piece. i also thought of james

    reasoner and joe lansdale since posting. btw, lansdale is on the mulholland books site today talkin east texas noir.

    --- On Fri, 11/12/10, cptpipes2000 <> wrote:

    From: cptpipes2000 <> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: westerns To: Date: Friday, November 12, 2010, 3:40 PM

    Sonny asked:
    > have westerns been talked about here much?

    Thanks for the link to that article, Sonny. Interesting.

    There is a lot of discussion of hardboiled westerns in the Rara Avis archives, and I've read a number of great books from mining that source. The westerns of Loren D. Estleman have particularly been favorites.

    Another great source is this article by our own Bill Crider, which gave me a whole new list of books to track down. Highly recommended.

    best, Chris


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