Monday, November 19, 2007

Allan Guthrie's 200 Noirs

A great list, and I'd say that even if Jack MacLane weren't on it.

200 Noirs by Allan Guthrie: "A couple of years back I was asked to provide a list of my top 100 noir novels for the now sadly defunct magazine, Bullet. Recently I've had a few requests to ask if I would consider republishing the list, so I dug it out and had another look. I was horrified by some of the omissions, but my excuse is that 100 just isn’t nearly enough.

So I've taken this opportunity to add another 100 to the original list. And I've cut the list off at 1997 or there'd be 100 more.

Bear in mind that this is an entirely idiosyncratic (some might even say perverse) personal selection based on a) what I’ve read to date (no prizes for spotting the gaps) and b) what I consider noir (which rules out most detective fiction -- unless the detectives are victims, crooks, lunatics or are generally shafted in some major way -- and yet permits the occasional western and horror. Yikes!)."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty good list. Good to see They Don't Dance Much and a couple Braly's. Hadn't thought about David Karp in forever but I really like his stuff too.

Randy Johnson said...

Now I feel deprived. I think the Richard Starks, the Dashiell Hammetts, and a couple of Elmore Leonards are all that I've read. I need to get on the ball.

Todd Mason said...

Just picked up one of the IFs with a McKimmey story yesterday. Impressive if unsurprising how many of the cf guys crossed over to sf, particularly in markets like IF, over the decades...even if they only occasionally were nearly as good in sf or fantasy.

Juri said...

Nice to see Margaret Millar getting mentioned. Did Allan have only her BEAST IN VIEW? It's excellent allright, but I liked HOW LIKE AN ANGEL more. I wouldn't take James Hadley Chase in, but there's crude vigour in those early novels.

Benjie said...

I've been a fan of Eidson for years. I'm not sure that I'd classify any of his writing in the Noir category although The Last Ride had some elements. But it was great to see him there. Maybe I'll have to re-read St. Agnes' Stand with a different eye.

I was also surprised at the absence of Chandler from the list. Is it just that Guthrie doesn't like Chandler? Or am I just not really aware of what it takes to make a noir story?

Rick Klaw said...

No Chandler?

Otherwise, a pretty impressive list.

Bill Crider said...

We won't be getting into the "what is noir" discussion here. Let's just say that Chandler doesn't qualify by some definitions.

Benjie said...

I'm apologizin'. Because of my backward brain cells I confuse noir and hardboiled sometimes. Chandler is one and not the other. While I must agree with Guthrie that Hammett is often both.

Then, I've been known to post before thinking before, too.

Al Guthrie said...

If I ever compile an equivalent hardboiled list, Chandler will be well represented. I'd also include THE MALTESE FALCON. If I'd read more Margaret Millar, I'm sure she'd be better represented. Likewise Fredric Brown, who doesn't make the list at all. Which is a crying shame. As is the fact that James McKimmey never wrote an sf novel.