Booked got schooled by Nik Korpon about Hardboiled,and we’re passing on the learning to you! Nik dropped heavy knowledge about Hardboiled from Daschill Hammett to Ben Whitmer and from The Big Sleep to The End of Everything, and suggested a ton of resources for hardboiled readers/enthusiasts. Check out the episode to get the straight dope, then check out some of the many resources listed below to take it to the next level!
What is Hardboiled and how did it start?
From the episode and some barebones net research (so please forgive/correct any glaring mistakes):
Today, Hardboiled is commonly considered a sub genre of crime fiction, but evidently it started out more diverse than that, including other genres like western or sci-fi. Hardboiled refers to a type of fiction that is very lean and tight. As Nik says in the episode, no extraneous words. It may have begun as a reaction to the practice of bloating stories to get paid more, when authors were getting paid on a per-word basis. One of the earliest publications of Hardboiled is Black Mask Magazine.
In the present day, the emergence of ebooks and readers has allowed for a resurgence in in cheap, readily available Pulp-style fiction.
Nik’s Recommended Hardboiled Books for Beginners
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain: An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one grisly solution–a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve.
First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the roman noir. It established James M. Cain as a major novelist with an unsparing vision of America’s bleak underside, and was acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for The Stranger.
PIKE by Benjamin Whitmer: Douglas Pike is no longer the murderous hustler he was in his youth, but reforming hasn’t made him much kinder. He’s just living out his life in his Appalachian hometown, working odd jobs with his partner, Rory, hemming in his demons the best he can. And his best seems just good enough until his estranged daughter overdoses, and he takes in his 12-year-old granddaughter, Wendy. Just as the two are beginning to forge a relationship, Derrick Kreiger, a dirty Cincinnati cop, starts to take an unhealthy interest in the girl. Pike and Rory head to Cincinnati to learn what they can about Derrick and the death of Pike’s daughter, and the three men circle, evenly matched predators in a human wilderness of junkie squats, roadhouse bars, and homeless Vietnam vet encampments.
Some Big Names in Hardboiled
Web Resources for Hardboiled
Spinetingler Magazine News & Stories. Nik got nominated for a Spinetingler award!
Shotgun Honey Short, tight crime fiction.
Plots With Guns Anthony Neil Smith’s Crime zine.
Beat to a Pulp new crime fiction weekly.
All Due Respect Straight-up crime fiction.
Yellow Mama Yeah, that’s Alabama’s nickname for their electric chair.
Thrilling Detective Crime Web zine
Punchnels A web news/fiction site.
Snubnose Press Compact. Powerful. Classic. (Future) home of Booked alum Nik Korpon, Richard Thomas, and Craig Wallwork among tons of other great authors. Also check out Speedloader. Yeah.
Blasted Heath Anthony Neil Smith, Ray Banks, Douglas Lindsay, and lots more. Also, they give away books a lot. Sometimes books that they didn’t even publish!
Mysterious Press – reissues classic crime novels as ebooks.
Hardboiled in Film
The Man Who Wasn’t There Coen Brothers, 2001
Chinatown Roman Polanski, 1974
The Usual Suspects Bryan Singer, 1995
The Big Lebowski (Which is inspired by The Big Sleep) Coen Brothers, 1998
also check out the podcast Out Of The Past – where they analyze film noir.
Next episode, Sean P. Ferguson sets the record for the most frequent guest host on Booked! That’s right, it’s his second time on Booked as a guest host. We’ll be talking about the recently released Anne Rice book The Wolf Gift. Sean is already grousing about it, so it should be an episode packed with contempt, hatred, talk about werewolves and romance novels, Robb getting all nostalgic about San Francisco, probably a bit about poop, and some exciting lead-up to next week’s AWP in Chicago. It’s going to be a whole ton of fun, and Amanda Gowin may even make a quick appearance on the episode. Don’t miss out!
Peter Gunn Theme Song
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