After watching detective fiction play out in the drawing rooms of ivory towers for too long, I’m heading into the mean streets to get some grease under my nails, a shiv waved in my face, and probably a cosh to the back of my head. Thankfully, Sergio, who oversaw a great deal of this stuff in books and on film at Tipping My Fedora has consented to accompany me and keep me as safe as he can.
Yup, today In GAD We Trust takes a glimpse across the fence into the establishment and progression of the hardbitten, Hardboiled subgenre of crime fiction which — as recent experience on this very blog will attest — in no way guarantees a reduction in plot complexity. Yes, we start with Dashiell Hammett and Black Mask, and, yes, we talk about Raymond Chandler, but there is much more than just those two points on this line. And so, because Sergio knows this stuff inside and out — seriously, the guy’s a walking encyclopedia, this was about as close as a conversation can get to jazz with all the riffs and improvisations he threw at me — we’ll take in some pre-code Hollywood movies, the psycho-sexuality of the femme fatale, the influence of Citizen Kane (1941), and other stuff that I won’t mention here because I’ve spent six hours editing this and can no longer remember what bits I cut out.
The last ten minutes are us geeking out over Jim Thompson, however, for which I refuse to apologise. One day, an entire episode will be me geeking out about Jim Thompson. Also, see if you can spot the exact moment at which Sergio dons his fedora…
Thanks to Sergio for taking part — head over to Fedora and see just how damn great it was, then pester him with emails until he starts it up again — to Jonny Berliner for the music, and to you all for listening. I hope you’re managing to find little joys to make life more bearable in these frankly unbearable times.
Two weeks from now: spoiler-heavy The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) chat with Brad and Moira! Get excited, get reading, get involved.
In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, and look out for each other.
All extant episodes of In GAD We Trust can be found on the blog by clicking here.