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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #90744
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Subject: "RE: Have you read any Hammett" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #90750 "RE: Have you read any Hammett"
Author Wandering Author     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 01st 2007
1569 posts
Date Mon Apr-23-12 04:04 PM
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Mon Apr-23-12 04:08 PMby Wandering Author

Unlike many other writers of "hard boiled" mysteries at the same time, Hammett's work is still worth reading. (It can be a real education to get your hands on some of the more obscure books you can track down at a used bookstore. In the past, I've bought box loads. There was a reason they were sold so cheap, too. Every period, every genre, has their obscure writers who would churn out crap, barely palatable to those seeking a contemporary tale, but forgotten ten minutes later. Yes, even the "golden age of SF" saw some real stinkers published. Those may not be the ones you hear discussed now, but they were there. Dig deep enough and you'll find them. On the other hand - although some genres or sub-genres may not suit an individual's taste - there are examples in every niche of good writing.)

I mention the context because a few years back, I found myself reading - skimming, really - through a stack of hard boiled detective fiction from the thirties. Most of it was as awful as anything you'll ever find in any genre. They tried to imitate Hammett, but failed, because they used the conventions of the genre to cover up the fact they didn't know how to tell a good story. Hammett did. And if you can't tell a good story, no genre will seem appealing in your hands. I'm not sure if there were others writing such stories before Hammett, but whether he was first or not, he made that type of story popular because he knew how to write a good story and keep the reader interested. Most of his "competitors" had no idea.

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Have you read any Hammett [View all] , Weird Jim, Mon Apr-23-12 01:45 PM
  RE: Have you read any Hammett, jhmcmullen, Apr 23rd 2012, #1
RE: Have you read any Hammett, CatrinP, Apr 23rd 2012, #3
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Weird Jim, Apr 23rd 2012, #8
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Chevaliersg, Apr 24th 2012, #13
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Erin_M_H, Apr 23rd 2012, #2
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Wandering Author, Apr 23rd 2012, #4
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Erin_M_H, Apr 23rd 2012, #5
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Wandering Author, Apr 23rd 2012, #7
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Weird Jim, Apr 23rd 2012, #10
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Erin_M_H, Apr 24th 2012, #11
RE: Have you read any Hammett, jhmcmullen, Apr 24th 2012, #12
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Wandering Author, Apr 23rd 2012 #6
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Weird Jim, Apr 23rd 2012, #9
RE: Have you read any Hammett, Hudson, May 09th 2012, #14

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