I'll read Pynchon's Inherent Vice curious about why he chose the hard-boiled-detective form to tell a story set in the psychedelic 1960s and, according to a cover blurb, about the end of an era. (Reviewers call the novel noir, but I assume that most people who call a crime story noir really mean hard-boiled. If I'm wrong in this case, I'll say so.)
There's no such doubt about Derek Raymond. He's noir, and I've heard tell that next to Dead Man Upright, his previous bleak, funny, touching Factory novels are light entertainment.
Here's some of what I've written about Raymond:
"He was a latter-day Hammett, I thought when I read Derek Raymond's I Was Dora Suarez. He was a new Chandler, I thought when I read the opening chapters of The Devil's Home on Leave.
"With one novel-plus of Raymond under my belt, I say he's a bit of both. His nameless detective-sergeant protagonist is as dedicated to his job as was Sam Spade or the Continental Op, and he yearns like Philip Marlowe, only there's not a trace of nostalgia about him. He's as hard and as heart-breaking as the best of the dark crime writers who followed him and who invoke his name as reverently as they do Hammett's and Chandler's."
And here's some of what you'll find about Derek Raymond on the Melville House Web site.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012