Top Seven Writers - From PULP to NEON

by milam_ogden | created - 02 Dec 2014 | updated - 02 Dec 2014 | Public

Woody Haut has written an excellent book entitled NEON NOIR. He traces the development of crime fiction from the mid-60s to the 1990s. He identifies many authors who have made the transition toward the NEON NOIR. Here is a list of seven authors who started this trend in the 60s.

1. Ross Macdonald

Writer | Harper

Crime novelist and creator of the private eye Lew Archer, Ross MacDonald is often linked to his predecessors Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler as a master of the "hard-boiled" school of detective fiction, but MacDonald added a psychological depth and a unity of theme which was unique.

MacDonald ...

series private investigator is Lew Harper

2. John D. MacDonald

Writer | Cape Fear

John Dann MacDonald was born on July 24, 1916, in Sharon, Pennsylvania. He served in the OSS in the far east during World War Two. While still in the military, he wrote a short story and mailed it home to his wife, simply for her entertainment. Unknown to him, she submitted it to the magazine "...

his series of stories always had a "color" in its title; major character was Travis McGee

3. Charles Williams

Writer | Dead Calm

Charles Williams was born in San Angelo, Texas, and grew up there and in New Mexico. He attended Brownsville High School in Texas through the tenth grade. In the United States Merchant Marine, from 1929 to 1939, he served as a radio operator. Williams joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, and ...

minor author who had an impact

4. Chester Himes

Writer | Cotton Comes to Harlem

Chester Himes was born on July 29, 1909 in Jefferson City, Missouri, USA as Bomar Himes. He was a writer, known for Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Come Back Charleston Blue (1972) and A Rage in Harlem (1991). He was married to Lesley Packard and Jean Johnson. He died on November 12, 1984 in Moravia...

wrote about the black experience in the 60s & 70s through two characters: Coffin Ed and Grave Digger

5. Jim Thompson

Writer | Paths of Glory

Jim Thompson was born on September 27, 1906 in Anadarko, Oklahoma, USA as James Myers Thompson. He was a writer and actor, known for Paths of Glory (1957), The Killing (1956) and The Getaway (1972). He died on April 7, 1977 in Hollywood, California, USA.

wrote from a poor and rural geographic setting

6. Charles Willeford

Writer | The Burnt Orange Heresy

Charles Willeford was a remarkably fine, talented, and prolific writer who wrote everything from poetry to crime fiction to literary criticism throughout the course of his impressively long and diverse career. His crime novels are distinguished by a mean'n'lean sense of narrative economy and an ...

develops the character of Frank Mansfield who explores the underbelly of our culture through his novel "Cockfighteer"

7. Donald E. Westlake

Writer | The Grifters

Donald E. Westlake was born on July 12, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Donald Edwin Edmund Westlake. He was a writer, known for The Grifters (1990), Payback (1999) and The Stepfather (2009). He was married to Abigail Adams, Sandra Foley and Nedra Henderson. He died on December 31, 2008 in San ...

AKA Richard Stark, develops a character named Parker who was a former mob employee who becomes a free lance killer



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