Episode #65 – Intro to Hardboiled


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!

Download this episode: right click, save-as

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

Dashiell Hammett
James M Cain
Raymond Chandler

Duane Swierczynski
Ben Whitmer
Anthony Neil Smith
Ray Banks

Women in Hardboiled:
Megan Abbott
Christa Faust
Patricia Abbott
Sarah Gran
Hilary Davidson

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.

-notable e-presses:
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

Grab Stitcher for your smartphone and add us as a favorite!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 comments on “Episode #65 – Intro to Hardboiled

  1. I dunno what Hardboiled is, but I’m about to find out.

  2. Great stuff, I’m going to be checking out Pike now.

  3. Get on it, Dan. It’s a killer read.

    Thanks for having me, Liv and Robb. I had a great time.

  4. i’m tracking down Pike right now..

  5. DB Cox Feb 21, 2012

    What some say on the subject of film noir/hardboiled.

    “What is film noir? Are they films about hardboiled detectives and seductive femme fatales? Are they about troubled heroes with soiled pasts that keep catching up with them? Are they all about black and white lighting, dark offices with light shining in through the blinds, and cigarette smoke that takes on a life of its own? Maybe. And maybe not. What we do know is that the great film noirs were originally created as pulp B-movies that usually concerned private eyes, cops, and criminals. One of the defining characteristics of the genre is that the characters all inhabited a grey area of morality. But is that enough to qualify a movie as a film noir? For decades, film critics have debated about which movies count as film noir and some films have fallen in and out of favor for various reasons. However, there has always been a short list of films that are universally agreed to be definitive examples of the genre.”

    Here, are eleven classic film noir (hardboiled) movies:

    11. The Postman Always Rings Twice–The best is probably the original starring John Garfield and Lana Turner. This movie was later remade starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.

    10. The Maltese Falcon–Humphrey Bogart at his best.

    9. Double Indemnity–Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck (similar plot to “The Postman Always Rings Twice”)

    8. Laura

    7. Detour

    6. The Big Sleep–based on a Raymond Chandler story.

    5. The Killers — a classic Hemingway story made into a movie.

    4. Out of the Past

    3. Pickup on South Street

    2. The Big Heat

    1. Sweet Smell of Success

  6. What a conversation…

    Robb: Are you serious, Livius?
    Liv: Yes.
    Nik: Are you serious?
    Liv: Yes.

    You should alreayd know this, guys but Livius is always serious.

  7. Great stuff, guys. Nik knows what he’s talking about. The top secret project he’s talking about, I’m involved with it, as is Caleb and Axel. I think Caleb talked about it in a later episode. Very exciting, some of the best work I’ve seen these guys do. It’s four novellas over four seasons in four different corners of the City. Gritty stuff. Tentatively titled FOUR CORNERS. It’s good stuff.