Mon 30 Nov 2009
W. R. BURNETT – Dark Hazard. Harper & Brothers, hardcover, 1933. Paperback reprints include: Hillman #20, 1949; Lancer 71-307, no date stated (early 1960s).
Film: First National, 1934 (with Edward G. Robinson, Genevieve Tobin, Glenda Farrell). Also: Warner Bros., 1937, as Wine, Women and Horses (with Barton MacLane, Ann Sheridan).
When you read a book where the central character starts out with a bit of a gambling problem, you usually end up with a story about a guy with a gambling problem. Period.
But W.R. Burnett wasn’t your usual writer, and Dark Hazard is about a lot more than the standard gambling-addict tribulations: it’s about things like the denizens of a big city hotel moving up and down the social scale; gamblers, gangsters and hangers-on; slick California dog-racing and rustic Ohio babbitry; and finally it’s just about the special bond between a man and his dog, conveyed in prose at once moving and tough as a dime — worth the trouble of seeking out.
Editorial Comment: Some while ago Dan reviewed Romelle here on this blog, also by W. R. Burnett.