Tuesday, September 26, 2006

European Villain-Protagonists?

What international crime fiction has a villain as the protagonist? Arsene Lupin doesn't count; he was too charming. French and Italian and British movies from the 1930s onward featured villains, their capers or both: Pepe Le Moko, Bob Le Flambeur, The Ladykillers, Breathless, the hilarious Big Deal on Madonna Street , and many more. But no novels and stories spring to mind.

The question of the day: Who, if they exist, are the non-American counterparts to Richard Stark's Parker?

© Peter Rozovsky 2006

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan Gash (pseudonym of a doctor) wrote a series featuring an antiques dealer called Lovejoy, a villian among villians. The television series starred Ian McShane and is a gem. Australia, perhaps because of its prison-colony origins, has produced at least two amoral heroes. One is Garry Disher's Wyatt, a Parker clone. Paydirt and Kickback are the best ones. Then there is Robin Wallace's excellent creation Essington Lewis. Lewis is an art forger and To Catch a Forger and An Axe to Grind, both partly set in Europe, should be much better known.

September 27, 2006  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide to Crime Fiction calls Lovejoy "shady and lecherous," so you know he must be fun. I read Garry Disher's "My Brother Jack" a few years ago. What a smart and deadpan funny story.

Thanks also for those other recommendations. You're building up a nice shopping list for me. That little cast of villains should be better known, you say? We'll make them better known.

September 27, 2006  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I should have noticed this before, but Disher's Parker fascination obviously extend to titles.

September 27, 2006  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Any recommendations of particular titles in the Lovejoy series? The dealer who keeps me in books has an ample stock of the Lovejoys.


September 28, 2006  

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