Sunday 25 December 2011

Down by the River

                     The thirst for knowledge is like a piece of ass you know you shouldn't chase; in the end, you chase it all the same.

Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go
George Pelecanos

Saturday 24 December 2011

The Goodbye Look

'Look if you feel you'll have to turn around and go back there i'll understand'. She added 'I can leave my body to medical science or put in an application for equal time'.

Ross MacDonald

           The unasked question simmered down after awhile, and my mind hung loose in silence. The sense of living inside the case, which i sometimes used as a drug to keep me going, slowly left me.

The Goodbye Look
Ross MacDonald

Tuesday 20 December 2011

That's Nothing

                         Stealing a man's wife that's nothing. But stealing his car that's larceny.
                          Love; when you get fear into it, it's not love any more. It's hate.

James M. Cain

More excellent Hardboiled quotes on www.pulpjournals.wordpress.com

Make a Contract

            When people make a contract with the devil and give him an air-conditioned office to work in, he doesn't go back home easily.

In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead
James Lee Burke

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Manhattan Noir

         I spun my chair around and stared out at Times Square. The Camels spectacular on the Claridge puffed fat steam smoke rings out over the snarling traffic.The dapper gentleman on the sign, mouth frozen in a round O of perpetual surprise, was Broadway's harbinger of spring. Earlier in the week teams of scaffold-hung painters transformed the smoker's dark winter homburg and chesterfield into seersucker and panama straw, not as poetic as capistrano swallows, but it got the message across.

Falling Angel
William Hjortsberg

Monday 12 December 2011

Letters Home

James Crumley and Gustav Hasford give us another couple of links between serving in Vietnam and becoming a writer in the Hardboiled vein.

Hasford in Vietnam

An excerpt from Gypsy Good Time

Sunday 11 December 2011

The Lady who Shot Lee Morgan

              Jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan was murdered in the early hours of  February 19th 1972 at Slugs, a jazz club in New York's East Village where his band was performing. Following an altercation between sets Morgan's 46 year old common-law wife Helen More shot him in the chest onstage, killing him within moments. He was 33 years old.  Morgan had just started to get back up onstage to begin the last set when More re-entered the club, having left unnannounced earlier, and called out his name. He turned round and she shot him in the heart. Doorman Lee Holman immediately grabbed her by the wrists and wrestled the gun away from her. She then started to scream 'Baby, what have i done ?' and ran toward the stage.

An interview with Helen More years later
 by Larry Reni Thomas is on

Saturday 10 December 2011

Meant for a Smile

              The face she made at me was probably meant for a smile. Whatever it was, it beat me, I was afraid she'd do it again. I surrendered.

Dashiell Hammett
The Continental Op

Friday 9 December 2011

Fat City - Leonard Gardner

          'Outside it was still dark.The rain that had kept Tully in the room with a fifth of whiskey and a loaf of whole-wheat bread was still falling'.

      'The northbound Greyhound droned into Stockton's fume filled terminal, and among the passengers who filed stiffly out was a short Mexican wearing a camel's hair overcoat and pointed high-heeled yellow gaiter shoes'.

Fat City
Leonard Gardner

Thursday 8 December 2011

Deep Blue Sea

         For anyone who appreciates the post-war  atmosphere of Brief Encounter, End of the Affair and Dance with a Stranger this new release which has no thriller element at all and contains what can only partially be described as a femme fatale, certainly captures the look of Britain in that era.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Post-Nam Shadows

          From late sixties onwards the Post Noir era of American cinema was probably under a heavier influence of the anxieties and fears of the returning Nam veteran than the classic Noir era had previously felt and portrayed in relation to those same fears felt by WWII vets.The lack of recognition and sometimes negative reaction those returning were subjected to was also brought to light in a number of classic books such as Born on the Fourth of July, The Things they Carried, and Paco's Story. The obvious movie portrayals of  how life could be 'back in the world' such as Taxi Driver, Mr Majestyk, Cutter's Way, Dead Presidents, Jacob's Ladder etc only represent a small number of those which relate in some way to a new feeling amongst those returning and spreading amongst most who knew them.

Thursday 1 December 2011

To Have and Have Not

            "Listen" i told him "Don't be so tough early in the morning. I'm sure you've cut plenty of people's throats. I haven't even had my coffee yet".

Ernest Hemingway
To Have and Have Not

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Thom Jones

       Jorgeson had shown me the wisdom of switching from Camels to Pall malls - they were much longer, packed a pretty good jolt, and when we snapped open our brushed chrome zippos, torched up and inhaled the first few drags, we shared the overmastering pleasure that tobacco can bring if you use it seldom and judiciously.

The Pugilist at Rest
Thom Jones

Friday 25 November 2011


A new bad cop Noir due for release soon and featuring Harrelson in the lead role supported by the likes of Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi and Ice Cube.
Anything co-written by James Ellroy is worth a look.

Thursday 24 November 2011

That Trapped feeling

         I had that trapped feeling, like some sort of a poor insect that you've put inside a downturned glass, and it tries to climb up the sides, and it can't, and it can't, and it can't.

Blues of a lifetime-
The Autobiography of Cornell Woolrich

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Almost Blue

Almost blue
Almost doin things we used to do
There's a girl here and she's almost you
Almost blue
Chet Baker
Almost Blue

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Frank Sinatra has a cold

If anyone doubts the link to Noir or Harboiled, they should listen to his rendition of Wee Small Hours or Autumn in New York as a soundtrack.
The celebrated 1966 article for Esquire describes a morose Sinatra silently nursing a glass of bourbon and contemplating how middle age affects the successful guy.
The type of classic non fiction in this case found in mens magazines is great along with some of Pete Hamill's New York stuff and also more obscure gems such as Devil Thumbs a Ride from Barry Gifford.

Monday 17 October 2011

Mitchum Noir

    Most of us would rate him as one of the great Noir leads as his face fits the role of a doomed loser.

                                                   Friends of Eddie Coyle

Blood on the Moon


                                                     Night of the Hunter

Out of the Past 

                                                         The Yakuza

                                                    Story of GI Joe