Richard Ford’s Description of Noir

Reading Richard Ford (a non-pulp writer) in his pulp venture The Ultimate Good Luck, I particularly enjoyed this passage which serves as (one of) the great definitions of Noir.

“The guy who had it in for you was the guy you had never seen. The one you loved was the one you couldn’t be understood by. The one you paid to trust was the one you were sure would cut and run. The best you could think was maybe you’d get lucky, and come out with some skin left on.”


2 Responses to “Richard Ford’s Description of Noir”

  1. Alan Fragments of Noir Says:

    Great post
    It’s ironic that a non-pulp writer defines it so well
    There have been a number of mainstream writers’ attempts at hardboiled/Noir over the years – Nobody Move/Denis Johnson, Night Train/Martin Amis etc

    • I think Ford got the pulp feel with The Ultimate Good Luck without trying to be smarter than the genre. Amis did a good job with Night Train too but it’s almost too purposefully “existential” at times for me.


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