From The Tuscaloosa News: Nylon-clad legs swished like waves crashing on the shore. My ticker danced a turning-tide rhumba when her moon rose full over the horizon of my ash-stained desk … Noir talk is among the most parodied of styles, because it’s easy. Pair over-the-top metaphors and similes with broken-hearted tough guys, overlay tenderness with sexual innuendo, twisted plots and quick fists, and bang.
It’s not hard, but it’s hard to do well. Raymond Chandler was the master; Dashiell Hammett no slouch. As hardboiled pulp-fiction novelists, Hollywood sent them the green telegram to blend their voices with masters of cinematographic black and white in film-noir classics such as “The Big Sleep,” “Night and the City” and “The Maltese Falcon.” Or really pretty much any setup where a hardscrabble guy in a trench coat and snap-brim fedora gets knocked on his keister by a leggy dame with a murky past and a gift for lying about it.