I turned over my fourth Pathfinder novel this week. It’s a little strange thinking that it won’t see the light of day until two years from now. By then my daughter will be a junior in high school and my son will be a sophomore in college. Sometimes I think time would feel less like it proceeds at such a breakneck pace if I didn’t constantly have my children changing to show me. My wife and I don’t feel particularly different than we felt two years ago (although I do have more gray) and with luck we won’t feel too different in two more years.
Following up on last week’s hardboiled master list, I thought I’d talk about the first writer whose work appears on it, Megan Abbott. Chris Hocking was kind enough to drop by and offer a few additional thoughts.
Every Monday until we reach the end of the list we’ll discuss another book from the list, working our way down in alphabetical order. Any questions about the contents of the list can probably be answered on the preamble on the post about the list itself. The list was created by Hocking to lure me into reading hardboiled and noir, based on his reading in both genres for more than three decades. It worked. Being good doesn’t get you on the list; a work has to be great, keeping in mind certain idiosyncrasies that I discussed in the original post.
You know how Sturgeon famously said that “Ninety percent of everything is crud?” These books are drawn from the ten percent of hardboiled and noir that isn’t.
A few posts ago I mentioned my friend Chris Hocking had provided me with an amazing list of hardboiled and noir fiction. Hocking gave me the titles of the books he thought I’d most enjoy, the crème de la crème of the hardboiled and noir books he’s read over the last three and a half decades. It’s an extremely generous gift. Think of it this way: I’d have had to read for more than thirty years in the genre to find these on my own! With his permission, I’m now sharing it with you.
Before you dig in, understand that this list is idiosyncratic: it’s like a mix tape made for me by someone who not only understood my own preferences in literature but happened to have extremely similar tastes.
It turns out that I’ve been using two related genre terms interchangeably in a whole series of related posts over the last year and now I have to cringe and confess I didn’t know what I was talking about.
Chris Hocking has introduced me to some noir, it’s true, but mostly what he’s opened me to is hardboiled fiction. While I’ve enjoyed the noir, it’s the hardboiled stuff that’s delighted me the most. I’m actually going to excerpt the Wikipedia definition of the term to define it, although I take issue with its concluding phrase, where it goes dreadfully wrong: Read More
Next month I’ll be the keynote speaker at The DeKalb public library’s Big Read.
I’ll be speaking at 7:30 pm, October 6th at the Ellwood House – Visitor Center (Behind Ellwood House Museum), 509 N. 1st St., DeKalb, IL 60115.
I hope to see some of you there!
Further details can be found at this link.
Following up on last week’s hardboiled master list, I thought I’d talk about the first writer whose work appears on it, Megan Abbott. Chris Hocking was kind enough to…
A few posts ago I mentioned my friend Chris Hocking had provided me with an amazing list of hardboiled and noir fiction. Hocking gave me the titles of the…