Another sign that the US is getting more like France every day. David Goodis joins Philip K. Dick in the Library of America.Good roundup and some cautionary words about Paul Cain in the WSJ. Also a reading list, which I can never resist.
I love Goodis, but got disgusted by the mopey passivity of the hero the last time I tried to read him. (The omission of Down There, source of Shoot the Piano Player, seems odd; I'm sure they have their reasons.)Cain is so relentlessly devoted to hardfast and nothing else (like some punk bands) that you have to laugh. But you don't ness put either in heavy rotation.I've read everything on the WSJ list except Violent Saturday. Gold star?
Two Gold Stars. "Down There" is in the two volume set of "American Noir of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s" that the Library published about ten years ago.Willeford's in it, too, and Jim Thompson, Chester Himes, and so forth. Goodis alone gets his own volume....Check here: www.loa.org/volume.jsp?RequestID=1and here:http://www.loa.org/volume.jsp?RequestID=2
Well.... Hammett and Chandler get a couple of volumes each, but you know what I mean...
I liked this line about Stark, which I could argue either side of....With "Richard Stark" (actually the well-known mystery writer Donald E. Westlake), the hard-boiled novel went into its decadent phase—from which it has yet to recover.
I sort of agree. The tough-guy pose. MacDonald gave it up before 1960. Noir is potentially more interesting because it's tragic.
"Trap for Cinderella" has almost exactly the same structure as Migal/Tarantula/The Skin I Live In: First third sets up a kinky situation, middle third flashes back to show us it's even weirder than we thought; final third spins out the consequences. A soild "poetic form" for noir.
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