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Books and Series > Favorite Hard Boiled Authors

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message 1: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Who are some of your favorite hard boiled writers?


message 2: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
I haven't read too many of the classic noir writers, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett, but hopefully that will be changing soon.

I read a lot of Ed McBain and Joseph Wambaugh in my teens.

Right now, I'm a big fan of George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, James Crumley, and Joe R. Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series.

During the coming year, I hope to read some Robert Crais, Walter Mosely, and James Lee Burke.


message 3: by Michael, Anti-Hero (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 279 comments Mod
My all time favourite will have to be Raymond Chandler, his character Philip Marlowe is just awesome, witty and intelligent.

But I'll read anyone in this genre


message 4: by Ed (last edited Nov 19, 2011 05:58PM) (new)

Ed [Redacted] (ed__) | 15 comments Richard Stark (the best), David Goodis, Jim Thompson are all awesome.

Some of the newer guys...I like Duane Swierczynski (Wheelman anyway). Dave Zeltserman and some others however Don Winslow is the man when it comes to newer authors.


message 5: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Thanks Ed. I've added Winslow and those two hard-to-spell guys to my list.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 24 comments My two favourites are Dashiell Hammett and Elmore Leonard. I once very nearly got into a fight for saying I preferred Hammett over Chandler, although the latter is of course still awesome. I do, however, think that Red Harvest is the daddy of hard boiled crime fiction.

A superb SF take on the genre is Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon, although I feel the need to warn those of a faint disposition that it is adult rated. And then ask those of a faint disposition what the hell they're doing here!


message 7: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Adult rated was pretty much all I needed to hear. Altered Carbon has been added to my list!


message 8: by Lawyer (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) Be sure to toss in some Ross MacDonald, John MacDonald, and Ace Atkins. Stir in some Parker. Add Hiassen for wackiness. You got a cocktail for some crime.


message 9: by Sonali (new)

Sonali V | 22 comments I have never even heard of most of them. I own 2 Dashiell Hammetts, liked them very much as also Raymond Chandler.You've really got me interested, so I'll see if these books are available here in my city;otherwise I can order them over the net, I suppose.


message 10: by Adam (new)

Adam (deepfriedromig) | 13 comments Richard Stark is so stripped down an brutal, you gotta love it. Sitting on the other end is John D. MacDonald, beautiful, poetic, and hard.


message 11: by Melki, Femme Fatale (last edited Dec 07, 2011 04:27AM) (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Welcome to the group, Adam. My dad was a huge John D. MacDonald fan, but I've never read anything by him. I had to look up Richard Stark. He's written a lot of books! Is there one you would recommend as a good introduction?


message 12: by Adam (new)

Adam (deepfriedromig) | 13 comments Richard Stark's (aka Donald Westlake first novel The Hunter is a great place to start. It's the first novel about a criminal named Parker. He has zero redeeming or endearing values. Hands down my favorite character in fiction and one of the best crime series available.

Just read the first sentence from The Hunter: "When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell." Does that not just get you jazzed to read more?

As for John D. MacDonald, I have only read his Travis McGee novels, which are great. Any of those are good, but as always I recommend starting at the beginning. The first McGee novel is The Deep Blue Goodbye.


message 13: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Wait a minute! Richard Stark is Donald E. Westlake?
Well, knock me over with a feather! I've read Westlake - he's too funny to be hard-boiled. Is Stark his dark, evil half?


message 14: by Adam (new)

Adam (deepfriedromig) | 13 comments Melki wrote: "Wait a minute! Richard Stark is Donald E. Westlake?
Well, knock me over with a feather! I've read Westlake - he's too funny to be hard-boiled. Is Stark his dark, evil half?"


Very much so!


message 15: by Adam (new)

Adam (deepfriedromig) | 13 comments Hey Alberto,

Welcome aboard. Have you read any Hard Case Crime books?


message 16: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Aaaaa! Everybody's read Richard Stark but me!

Welcome to the group, Alberto.


message 17: by Dan (last edited Dec 08, 2011 12:19PM) (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) I like Joe Lansdale, Lawrence Block, Donald Westlake, and Jim Thompson the most these days. Megan Abbott is good too but I've only read a couple of hers.

Duane Swierczynski's Wheelman was awesome but I haven't read any of his other books. I also liked Victor Gischler's The Deputy quite a bit.


message 18: by Adam (new)

Adam (deepfriedromig) | 13 comments Dan, those are all solid! I've got The Deputy on my iPad waiting to be read.
If you like Gischler and Swiercznski, take a stab at Anthony Neil Smith's Yellow Medicine. Brutal and unapologetic. Plus, the ebook is only $.99.


message 19: by Mohammed (last edited Dec 13, 2011 05:59AM) (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) Hardboild PI:

Dashiell Hammett - The OP, Sam Spade nuff said!!
Lawrence Block - Matt Scudder is the contemporary version of Hammett series.
Ross Macdonald
Ken Bruen
James Sallis
Raymond Chandler
George Pelecanos

Noir/criminal noir(no PIs)

Richard Stark/Westlake - Parker is the finest no-hero in crime
Jim Thompson
James M Cain
David Goodis


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Dan wrote: "I also liked Victor Gischler's The Deputy quite a bit."

I just reviewed The Deputy. I loved it.


Adam wrote: "If you like Gischler and Swiercznski, take a stab at Anthony Neil Smith's Yellow Medicine. Brutal and unapologetic."

I'm just about finished with this one and I agree.

A lot of good authors listed in this thread. Maybe I missed his name, but another author I would add to any list is Charlie Huston.


message 21: by Adam (new)

Adam (deepfriedromig) | 13 comments Charlie Huston is another good one. 'Caught Stealing' is just plain nuts.


message 22: by Srinivas (new)

Srinivas Veeraraghavan (theseeker) | 30 comments New to this group. A HUGE fan of the holy trinity of Hammett,Chandler and Macdonald.

Also loved Lawrence Block. The various allegations of plagiarism notwithstanding, my all time favourite would still be James Hadley Chase.


message 23: by Srinivas (new)

Srinivas Veeraraghavan (theseeker) | 30 comments And oh yeah, Chester Himes FTW. \m/

Coruscating brilliance. Up there with the very best.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 439 comments Does Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm fit this category? He's a favorite of mine & I just read that Titan Books of England, the one's that are publishing Hard Case Crime, is going to start republishing them in 2013.


message 25: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) Srinivas Prasad wrote: "And oh yeah, Chester Himes FTW. \m/

Coruscating brilliance. Up there with the very best."


I like Chester Himes a lot.


message 26: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) I forgot to add Max Allan Collins who is one of the best i have read when it comes criminal noir. Quarry is my fav series of that kind after Parker.

Charlie Huston writes mean noir prose his best work so far imo is Joe Pitt books. Urban fantasy with noir anti-hero. I hope he keeps writing hardcore characters like Pitt in his books that arent fantasy.


message 27: by Cyndi (new)

Cyndi (bookchick64) | 54 comments All of the authors listed are superb..but let me go out on a limb here... Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets ( a series of 13) graphic novels are so noir and so fabulous that he (and they) head my list.


message 28: by Mohammed (last edited Dec 28, 2011 05:32AM) (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) If we are talking about hardboiled,noir crime in comics my fav writer by far is Ed Brubaker. I liked 100 Bullets mostly because of the art. Criminals is my fav noir comic series.


message 29: by Melki, Femme Fatale (last edited Dec 28, 2011 06:05AM) (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Okay - nobody mention anymore good books til I get caught up!


message 30: by Cyndi (new)

Cyndi (bookchick64) | 54 comments Mohammed Criminals is on my to read list... Now I really can't wait.


message 31: by Srinivas (new)

Srinivas Veeraraghavan (theseeker) | 30 comments Robert Crais is a tad over-rated IMO. Waiting to get started with Pelecanos.


message 32: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Thanks to all who recommended The Wheelman. What a thrill ride that was!


message 33: by Josh (new)

Josh More new wave noir with a smattering of hardboiled : Charlie Huston, Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Anthony Neil Smith, Victor Gischler, Ray Banks, Mickey Spillane, Christa Faust, Allan Guthrie, Dave Zeltserman, Ken Bruen (for American Skin), Tom Piccirilli (for Cold Spot), Adrian Mckinty (50 Grand fame) etc. The list can go on and on...


message 34: by Josh (new)

Josh forgot to add John Rector to the list (THE GROVE and COLD KISS) and the best new talent to emerge from 2011 - Josh Stallings (BEAUTIFUL NAKED AND DEAD and OUT THERE BAD) - do yourselves a favour and read these 4 books.


message 35: by Josh (new)

Josh The George Pelecanos DC Quartet is a work of art - the 4th book a little disappointing IMO but still a great series. Pelecanos is definitely one of the best writers of noir going 'round.


message 36: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) Josh wrote: "More new wave noir with a smattering of hardboiled : Charlie Huston, Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Anthony Neil Smith, Victor Gischler, Ray Banks, Mickey Spillane, Christa Faust, Allan Guthrie, ..."

American Skin is good but Ken Bruen is shawus winner, noir great for his Jack Taylor books. Irish Noir master, he is like Jim Thompson but with seriously great dark humor. Why i rate him with my alltime fav crime authors.

I have read Guthrie,Faust,Piccirilli(Cold Spot is aweomse like Drive by Sallis). Piccirilli is my fav of those newer noir authors. Spillane is hardly news hehe :)


message 37: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) Srinivas Prasad wrote: "Robert Crais is a tad over-rated IMO. Waiting to get started with Pelecanos."

Crais gets a lot better after his first few books, once he stops trying to make Elvis Cole into Robert Parker's Spenser. Pelecanos is an author I'm anxious to try too.


message 38: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) Frankly i dont see why Crais is mentioned in this thread. He can be fav author of someone but he isnt hardboiled detective or noir. He is like Michael Connelly Bosch series straight police or other detective series thinking about Elvis Cole books.

Why i have straight crime bookshelf in GR and hardboiled,noir bookshelfs.


message 39: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
I LOVE dark humor! Which Ken Bruen book do you recommend, Mohammed?


message 40: by Josh (new)

Josh I'd recommend Bruen's Max and Angela series published by Hardcase Crime co-authored with Jason Starr: BUST, SLIDE, and THE MAX


message 41: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) Melki wrote: "I LOVE dark humor! Which Ken Bruen book do you recommend, Mohammed?"

The Guards is the first book in his acclaimed Jack Taylor series. One of the best in the series. The series he is known for and has won 2 Shamus awards, among other awards.

Frankly he is too rare when it comes dark humor writing in noir or other type of literature. I need recommendations for author with similar dark humor :)


message 42: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Thanks, guys!


message 43: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Just finished The Cut. Pretty "meh" compared to George Pelecanos's usual fare. But I did notice Richard Stark's name cropping up from time to time. The main character's school teacher brother is even having his class read The Hunter. They discuss the movies based on the book - Point Blank, the dreadful Payback, and one I was unfamiliar with http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071960/ - The Outfit -
This one, sadly, is not available from Netflix, but it looks like another great movie from the seventies.

Anybody seen it?


message 44: by Adam (new)

Adam | 126 comments Payback is not dreadful, especially not the director's cut.


message 45: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 439 comments I really liked "Payback". It was fun. I loved the actors. They all played their parts so well. "You shot my bag!" Hah!


message 46: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
I haven't seen "Payback". The characters in the book referred to the film as being "dreadful", so I used their words.

I know we had a Mel Gibson debate going in another discussion, and since I side with the people who basically want to tear him a new one, I'm in no hurry to see anything he stars in.

But, if Jim says it's good...maybe I'll add it to my queue.


message 47: by Adam (new)

Adam | 126 comments Melki, if you can disassociate Mel Gibson the actor from Mel Gibson the Timothy Dalton-hating, invective-spewing, ex-wife-threatening, Holocaust-minimizing, Jew-baiting alcoholic, you might enjoy "Payback."

I especially like "Payback: Straight Up: The Director's Cut." It and "The Outfit," with Robert Duvall, are the best and most faithful Richard Stark adaptations, in my opinion.


message 48: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 439 comments Do you discuss politics or religion with coworkers? I generally don't because if they agree with me, I don't like them any better, but if they disagree with me, it can certainly make me like them less. Depending on their vehemence, much less.

If you pay attention to actor's personal lives, you're playing the same losing game. Far too many of them are disasters. They're egocentric, ignorant, & full of bad habits & stupid opinions. Their 'real' lives have no bearing on their acting. They're actors - beings that make a living pretending to be something they're not. So whether Mel Gibson drinks too much or adopts an Africa baby as a publicity stunt, he's no worse than half the others from the little I hear. It's all the same to me. I don't care.

As for the movie "Payback", it was a movie of tongue-in-cheek caricatures that were fantastic, IMO. Mel Gibson was great with the narration & tough guy acting as Porter. William Devane & Kris Kristoferson were really good as Mafia head men, (I normally don't like Kris at all) but James Coburn really shined. Gregg Henry, another actor I don't usually care for, was a perfect sadistic scheming bastard. I could go on, but you really ought to see it. It was just fun.

Here's the IMDB page:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120784/


message 49: by Mohammed (last edited Jan 10, 2012 02:06PM) (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) Melki wrote: "I haven't seen "Payback". The characters in the book referred to the film as being "dreadful", so I used their words.

I know we had a Mel Gibson debate going in another discussion, and since I ..."


Thats because Pelecanos thinks like most Parker fans that Paycheck is terrible,dreadful. Like Scorsesse said there is no directors cut. The film should be directors cut. They are only marketing gimmicks to sell dvd with extended scenes..

You can like Paycheck like Jim said tongue-in cheek but as Parker story sucked royally.


message 50: by Adam (new)

Adam | 126 comments I am against director's cuts too, but the director's cut of Payback is a completely different thing. It's not a marketing gimmick and is actually shorter and more faithful to the original novel.


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