• Partager sur Facebook
  • Imprimer.

Carroll John Daly

Carroll John Daly (1899-1958) is an American crime writer, widely credited for creating the first “hard-boiled” novel, The false Burton Combs.

Short biography

Born in Yonkers in 1899, Carroll John Daly belongs to the category of writers who have found their inspiration in the lives of others rather than in his own. Daly was a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Apparently he was never an actor, and he did work at a New Jersey theatre. In the 1920s, already married, he settled in White Plains, New York, and started his writing career, thanks to the financial backing of his uncle. In December 1922 he published The false Burton Combs in the famous Black Mask magazine. Preceding Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op by only a few months, most crime writing scholars agree his story is the first ever hard-boiled novel.

In April 1923, he writes “Three-gun Terry”, published in Black Mask, which features Terry Mack, a slightly more developed character and an evolution on the anonymous narrator of The false Burton Combs. Then in June 1923, he writes “Knights of the open palm”, introducing his most famous character, a private eye named Race Williams, himself an evolution on Terry Mack and the anonymous narrator of The false Burton Combs.

Retour en haut de page

Daly's legacy

It is easy to dismiss Daly as a “rough around the edges” hard-boiled precursor with no literary talent who just happened to be kind of first. That is fundamentally underestimating the one who, by sheer luck or genius, opens a new route into the unknown. Daly might not be the most talented “stylist”, but there is genuine originality in his characters, and he should be put back in his rightful place, as a writer who invented a genre that Hammett and Chandler then turned into an art form. Mickey Spillane was a true fan; so he wrote: “Mike and the Race Williams of the middle thirties could be twins.”.

© 2013- Les Éditions de Londres

Livres publiés

  • The false Burton Combs

    par Carroll John Daly

    ISBN : 978-1-909782-44-0
    Date de parution : 17 novembre 2013
    Nombre de pages : 45 pages

    “The false Burton Combs” is a crime story (“hard-boiled”) written by Carroll John Daly and published in the “Black mask magazine” in December 1922, therefore predating the first appearance of Dashiell Hammett's the Continental Op in October 1923. “The false Burton Combs” is a must-read story for (...)

    En savoir plus