Praise for Hard-Boiled Anxiety
Named one of the Indie Best Books of the Month, August 2016, by Kirkus Reviews.
“Curl up on the analyst’s couch with all your favorite mystery scribes, as Karen Huston Karydes sleuths out the neurotic, personal threads that make up the warp and the weft of their greatest fictions. A dark, yet illuminating read.”
— Kim Cooper, author of The Raymond Chandler Map of Los Angeles and The Kept Girl
“Karen Huston Karydes makes a major contribution to mystery-fiction scholarship with her bold and inventive work, Hard-Boiled Anxiety. Don’t be alarmed by its exotic subtitle: This swift-reading book is short on jargon and long on penetrating insight. ‘An existential man in a nihilistic world’ is one definition of hard-boiled fiction; Ms. Karydes’s breakthrough move is to apply the same psycho-literary analysis to the biographies of hard-boiled’s ‘Holy Trinity’ of authors as she does to their private-eye protagonists — scrutinizing real-life ‘family romances’ with the skills of a psychologically-informed fiction-critic.
“Perusing her compassionate but unsparing accounts of these men’s psychic case-histories is often as thrilling an experience as reading their legendary novels. The brilliant Hard-Boiled Anxiety should become a benchmark work in Hammett-Chandler-Macdonald studies.”
— Tom Nolan, author of Ross Macdonald: A Biography; editor of Ross Macdonald’s The Archer Files; and co-editor (with Suzanne Marrs) of Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald.