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Encyclopedia > Hardboiled

Hardboiled crime fiction is a uniquely American style pioneered by Dashiell Hammett, refined by Raymond Chandler, and endlessly imitated since by writers such as Mickey Spillane. Hardboiled fiction is most commonly associated with detective short stories and novels. It is distinguished by an unsentimental portrayal of crime, violence and sex. Sherlock Holmes, pipe-puffing hero of crime fiction, confers with his colleague Dr. Watson; together these characters popularized the genre. ... Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. ... Raymond Chandler Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an American author of crime stories and novels. ... Frank Morrison Spillane (born March 9, 1918), better known as Mickey Spillane, is an American author of crime novels. ... Detective fiction is a branch of crime fiction that centres upon the investigation of a crime, usually murder, by a detective, either professional or amateur. ... Violence refers to acts of aggression and abuse which causes or intends to cause criminal injury or harm to persons, and (to a lesser extent) animals and property. ... This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to human sexual function and behavior. ...


The name comes from a colloquial phrase of understatement. For an egg, being hard-boiled is comparatively tough. The counterpart detective would be stylistically referred to as an "armchair detective" and are considered "soft" in contrast because they do not have to deal with the darker themes of deceit and violence in a direct manner. A classic example might be Hercule Poirot. An Armchair Detective is a term used for a fictional investigator who does not himself (or herself) visit the crime scene or interview witnesses; instead, he or she either reads the story of the crime in a newspaper, or has it recounted to him by another person. ... David Suchet as Poirot Hercule Poirot (pronounced ) is a fictional character, the primary detective of Agatha Christies novels. ...


Noir fiction, on the other hand, is a narrower--though ever expanding--sub-genre of hardboiled fiction. According to George Tuttle: "Noir fiction, in America, can be defined as a sub-genre of the Hardboiled School. In this sub-genre, the protagonist is usually not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator. He is someone tied directly to the crime, not an outsider called to solve or fix the situation. Other common characteristics of this sub-genre are the emphasis on sexual relationships and the use of sex to advance the plot and the self-destructive qualities of the lead characters. This type of fiction also has the lean, direct writing style and the gritty realism commonly associated with hardboiled fiction." Noir could refer to: Noir is the French language word for black. Film noir is a genre of movie. ...


See also

Detective fiction is a branch of crime fiction that centres upon the investigation of a crime, usually murder, by a detective, either professional or amateur. ... Crime fiction is a typically 20th century genre, dominated by British and American writers. ... Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. ... Raymond Chandler Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an American author of crime stories and novels. ... Chester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 – November 12, 1984) was a famous African-American author. ... Photo of James Ellroy by Robert Birnbaum James Ellroy (born Lee Earle Ellroy on March 4, 1948 in Los Angeles, California) is one of the worlds best-selling crime writers and essayists with a unique telegraphic writing style, which omits words other writers would consider necessary. ... Ross MacDonald (born January 24, 1965 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian sailor. ... John D. MacDonald John Dann MacDonald (July 24, 1916 – December 28, 1986), writing as John D. MacDonald, was an American writer best known for his series of detective novels featuring protagonist Travis McGee. ... Andrew Henry Vachss (born October 19, 1942) is an American crime fiction author, child protection consultant, and attorney exclusively representing children and youths. ... James Myers Thompson (September 27, 1906, Anadarko, Oklahoma Territory–April 7, 1977, Los Angeles, California) was an American writer of short stories, screenplays and novels, largely of the pulp fiction kind. ... The Colorado Kid Cover art by Glen Orbik Hard Case Crime is an American publisher of paperback hardboiled crime novels founded in 2004 by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips. ... Black Lizard was a publisher during the 1980s. ... Hardboiled crime fiction is a uniquely American style pioneered by Dashiell Hammett, refined by Raymond Chandler, and endlessly imitated since by writers such as Mickey Spillane. ...

External links

  • http://www.mysterynet.com/hardboiled/
  • http://www.ejmd.mcmail.com/hardboil.htm
  • Most Honored Hammett Award winners
  • "The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds" - a hardboiled story by Neil Gaiman

  Results from FactBites:
 
Hardboiled - ArticleWorld (314 words)
The protagonists of 'hardboiled' novels are tough, much like a hard-boiled egg, and often embrace the seamy side of life.
Although hardboiled detectives can be touched by a woman, in general their relationships are characterized by a game of flirting through giving offense and the certainty that when the case is over, so is the fling.
Noir is sometimes used interchangeably with hardboiled, though purists such as essayist George Tuttle notes that the focus in noir is away from the solvers of the crime and their lobby manager and newspaper friends.
Hardboiled at AllExperts (724 words)
Hardboiled crime fiction refers to a literary style pioneered by Dashiell Hammett in the late 1920s and refined by Raymond Chandler beginning in the late 1930s.
Hardboiled fiction, most commonly associated with detective stories, is distinguished by an unsentimental portrayal of crime, violence, and sex.
The hardboiled detective epitomized by Hammet's Sam Spade and Chandler's Philip Marlowe not only solves mysteries, like his "softer" counterparts, he (and often these days, she) confronts danger and engages in violence on a regular basis.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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