Watching The Detectives discussion

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What ever happened to crime noirs?

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message 1: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (lordleonard) | 6 comments I've been looking into the old 1940's-1970's crime/detective/noir type paperbacks; and I was surprised to see how damn popular they were. Especially Mickey Spillaine's novels(he's responsible for 7 of the 15 highest grossing books out of the USA- of all time).
It seems apparent that these books were geared to the 'blue collared' working stiff- and that they were hugely popular. Yet nowadays, you don't see them on the NY Times Bestsellers list, and you don't hear about them at all- at least I don't.
You'd think that something so popular wouldn't have died out, or that people would at least still be talking about them...
I have my own opinions as to why they died out, but I'm wondering what you guys think.


message 2: by Mohammed (last edited Feb 17, 2011 04:17PM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 47 comments They have not died out many of those authors are hailed today but not to nr.1 bestseller level because formula,generic police,CSI,FBI books sell the best.

It has never been about sales numbers but quality for noir. For every Spillane there were many Hammetts,Stark,Block,Elmore Leonard etc


You have to go outside US to find great Noir these days, authors like Ken Bruen from Ireland.


message 3: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (lordleonard) | 6 comments Interesting... Yea, I suppose that makes sense. Thanks.


message 4: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 47 comments There is a reason i have not read Spillane yet while i read many noir writers of his days and earlier,after. History doesnt remember sales numbers but quality stories period.

As long as different types of noir are alive,kicking getting realesed im fine. Hard Case Crime,many other authors out there.


message 5: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (lordleonard) | 6 comments I'd rather a few million people read something decent I wrote, than to have ten people read some amazing I wrote.


message 6: by Mohammed (last edited Feb 18, 2011 06:17PM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 47 comments Ryan wrote: "I'd rather a few million people read something decent I wrote, than to have ten people read some amazing I wrote."

Not saying Spillane is forgotten but there are people who have sold more than the biggest classics that are sold millions today.

When i was new to older noir i listened to acclaim,fan rating of the greats. There are many who sold millions before and you cant find in print today unlike Hammets,James Cains etc

Only reason i want to try Spillane is because i like Max Allan Collins who saw him as important for his writing.


message 7: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (lordleonard) | 6 comments If they sold millions- why can't you find them in print anymore?


message 8: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 47 comments Ryan wrote: "If they sold millions- why can't you find them in print anymore?"

Because why would publishers reprint forgotten authors ? You have to be important for modern readers and not only to 30s,50s readers. Spillane must be big in US to republished.


message 9: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (lordleonard) | 6 comments Yea, that makes sense. I'd like to read some of Spillane's stuff.


message 10: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 47 comments I saw Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer in the 80s tv show. He was pretty hardcore. I would like to see if Spillane is good enough to read today.


message 11: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (lordleonard) | 6 comments Yea, that would be interesting. His style, I'm sure, would change quite a bit.


message 12: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) I wouldn't say Spillane is forgotten. I came across The Goliath Bone on the shelf in my local Borders store a couple of weeks ago and just finished it this weekend. There are also three volumes of collected Mike Hammer books available from all he big bookstores. The Mike Hammer Collection Volume 1 The Mike Hammer Collection Volume 2 and The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume III All three contain introduction and notes from Max Allen Collins.


message 13: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 47 comments Andrew wrote: "I wouldn't say Spillane is forgotten. I came across The Goliath Bone on the shelf in my local Borders store a couple of weeks ago and just finished it this weekend. There are also th..."

I did not say Spillane is forgotten at all, i said his selling numbers was not a factor in how he is remembered. Outside US he is not as known as legendary noir writer because sales in paperback pulp era doesnt mean classic rep in comparison to classic authors today who sold much less.

We were talking about other bestsellers who are forgotten today and not Spillane himself.


message 14: by AndrewP (last edited Mar 04, 2011 02:48PM) (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) Mohammed wrote: "I did not say Spillane is forgotten at all, i said his selling numbers was not a factor in how he is remembered. Outside US he is not as known as legendary noir writer because sales in paperback pulp era doesnt "

Point taken, I should probably have said "out of print" instead of "forgotten". All the books I mentioned were printed 2010 so there must be some interest there somewhere.


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