Hi, Crimespacers,

Recently I started a discussion here about humor and whether it belongs in a hard-boiled thriller or noir.  I've just written a blog post about it and if you've got the time, check it out and give me your thoughts. Thanks

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I always try to incorporate some humor into my Nicholas Colt thrillers, and if you read one you'll see that they're definitely hard-boiled. I LOVE humor in thrillers. Even in horror. Stephen King is one of the funniest authors I've ever read.

Thanks, Jude. I think Stephen King is funny, too.

I dig humor in anything as long as the humor "fits" the mood the story sets. The hunor in a movie like Pulp Fiction is organic and fits the serious tone. At the same time I don't have a problem with campy/tongue in cheek humor if the story presented itself as that to begin with.


Thanks, Jemir. My sentiments exactly.

Hi Victoria, lovely to make your acquaintance and to see all these other crime-lovin' hooligans out and about.

I don't think you should ever have a high-tension genre like hard-boiled or noir without at least some small measure of humor. As much as with horror, humor serves to defuse and diffuse the ramping of tension in a piece, allowing the author to take it to higher and higher levels before the payoff. My own work is always infused with a little funny to offset the misery and bleak destruction of the human condition - or just to get a few cheap laughs.

Thanks, Alex. Great insight.

Hello, I just joined crimespace pretty much because I read this blog on your website. It is funny when the hard nuts muse around about things. The quote you posted reminded me of lots of the old B&W crime movies I love...I could just hear Robert Montgomery sniding that quote. I recently went on a Erle Stanley Gardner binge that was fun. It was fun to google him ans see his background and what led him to write. 


Well, without humor you have a humorless protagonist, maybe good for a secondary, supporting one, kind of a straight man, but not the main one. You want him or her to be as human as possible, therefore, likable. People without humor are hard to follow, not as easy to like. You certainly don't often get close to them. It's also okay to have a narrator (third person POV) with a sense of humor telling the story, even if not a character in it. It's hard to put down anything--story, article, whatever--that's funny in some way. The most memorable and endearing stories are the ones that make you laugh at least a little...How's that for a quick get-back to your 2013 post? You still with us? I've been away fro years.

I'm with you. The only time having a humorless character - particularly a main character - works is if his/her humorlessness is in itself funny.


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