Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Monday, August 25, 2008
Book Review: David Karp, Hardman (1953)
Hardman is more of a character study than a crime story, but there is never that much character to study. The title character, Jack Hardman, is an infamous, best-selling, hard-boiled writer whose demon is sadism. Readers are not meant to like Hardman. Perhaps they are meant to be intrigued or fascinated. But his character is too one-dimensional for that. He enters the book a sadistic punk, he leaves the book a sadistic punk, and there is nothing much interesting about him in between. Oddly, it is the characters who surround Hardman--his agent, his editor, his woman, his hangers-on, his reading public--who give this book its interest. Grade: C-
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.