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The Blackbirder (1943)

av Dorothy B. Hughes

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1609172,016 (3.28)46
A classic World War II-era noir with a page-turning plot, a cast of colorfully sinister characters and a protagonist who is thrust into the heart of political intrigue, this captivating 1943 novel parallels the spy novels of Grahame Greene, Eric Ambler, and the films of Hitchcock and Lang. But in -signature Hughes fashion, The Blackbirder has a genre-bending twist: its hardboiled protagonist is a woman. Born of American expatriate parents, Julie Guilles was a pretty, sheltered rich girl growing up in Paris, a favorite of the "Ritz Bar" set. But everything changed when the Nazis rolled into the City of Lights. After three years of life underground, Julie is hiding out in New York; but she knows trouble is coming when the corpse of an acquaintance appears on her doorstep. With a host of possible dangers on her tail--the Gestapo, the FBI and the New York cops--she embarks on a desperate journey to Santa Fe in search of her last, best hope. "The Blackbirder"is a legend among refugees, a trafficker in human souls who flies under the radar to bring people to safety across the Mexican border--for a price. With no resources at her disposal but a smuggled diamond necklace and her own razor-sharp wits, Julie must navigate a tangle of dangers--and take a stand in the worldwide struggle that has shattered the lives of millions. In contrast to the typical representations of wartime women as "Mrs. Minivers" guarding home and hearth, Dorothy B. Hughes gives her intrepid heroine a place at the heart of the action Dorothy B. Hughes (1904-1993) is the author of numerous hardboiled mystery novels. Three of her books became successful films: The Fallen Sparrow (1943), Ride the Pink Horse (1947), and In a Lonely Place (1950), reprinted by the Feminist Press in 2003. In 1978 she was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.… (mer)
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» Se även 46 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 9 (nästa | visa alla)
It took a little bit for me to get into this story, but it eventually really took off. The last quarter especially went like gangbusters. I liked the way the story ended, tying up enough loose threads to give a sense of closure but leaving it open enough that the characters feel like they’re living on past the end of the book. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Nov 24, 2023 |
Well that's me done with Dorothy B Hughes. "In a Lonely Place" and "The Expendable Man" are brilliant, "The So Blue Marble" and this one are absolute messes. A cludge of ludicrous coincidences and implausible twists, interspersed with a lot of random running around. ( )
  SChant | Dec 11, 2022 |
Julie flees from New York to Chicago on her way to New Mexico, trying to escape what she fears will be the assumption that she killed Maxl. The Chicago train station, at least that time, reminds me of the San Jose train station, to this day.
"She paid her check, went into the soiled, cavernous lobby. It might not be necessary but it might be wise. It was what an innocent person would do without thinking. She bought two postcards, two for five, and two one-cent stamps. She would take a few minutes to write them. The women's waiting room was like the station, old and tired, soiled despite constant scrubbings. It might once have been grandeur; now it sat in decayed, obsolescent doom."

Julie's whole point in coming to the United states, is try to locate her cousin Fran, and help him escape from confinement. She hears about someone called the blackbirder, who helps people who have entered the country illegally, escape to mexico. The blackbirder supposedly is in New mexico, Santa Fe. But what she finds in New mexico, breaks her heart and shows that who she thought was her dear loved one, is a traitor.
"She started down quickly. Halfway she saw into the lighted living room. Yes, fran. Fran and a girl. An exquisite girl, copper hair ruffled about her small face, a beautifully curved leg, a silken leg, pointed to the gray whipcord leg of Fran's.
The girl's voice was precise. 'I see nothing ridiculous about it.'
'But darling.' He said darling. His thin brown hand was under her hair.
Julie didn't move, didn't take breath.
'It is so ridiculous.' He spoke with an accent; he had no accent.
'Ridiculous? That you take this girl with you to Mexico and refuse to take me?'
'listen, my sweet. I take her to mexico. It is the least I can do. She is in trouble. She is so distant a cousin but she is that. I cannot refuse to aid her. She is young, helpless.'
'Why can't I go along?'
'coral, please. Have not I told you? There is so much Freight I must bring back for your father. there will be room only for myself on the return. Why must you be so unreasonable? I have told you this girl means nothing whatever to me. I take her to mexico. That is that. I pick up the freight. I return here. Two day's time. Can you not give me two day's time?'
Julie stood rigid. The sickness was all through her, in her lungs, in her knees, in her mind and heart. She watched his hand turn the face of the lovely girl to his, watched him bend to her. Julie didn't close her eyes. She watched the kiss."

The "man in Gray", blaik, who Julie has been afraid of in her escape across the country, tells her that he's FBI. She doesn't believe him at first but it turns out to be true. All this time she was afraid of him, and he was trying to protect her from the Blackbirder. This speech from his character is disgusting. This author is so the opposite of a feminist. the only reason I like her is because she has many of her books set in New Mexico, which is where my heart lives.
"... She look at him with a spark of unspent passion. 'There's more of us than of them. Many of us have died. Many more will. But someday we'll exterminate them, all of them, One by one. I want my share.'
He said, 'we have men trained for that, to fight, even to die. But not without weapons, not without a chance. We'll conquer them. When that's done, you may share. The woman's way. Feeding and clothing, and helping the children to forget that once there was a world like today's. It won't be spectacular. No one will weep over your holy grave. It will be merely work, drab, everyday work. But it will be of more value than snuffing your life out to satisfy personal revenge.' "
( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
It's 1943, and America is awash with foreigners who have entered the country illegally via Mexico, courtesy of the Blackbirder. Julie Guille, an illegal refugee from occupied France is desperately searching for her male cousin Fran, who she believes has been interned.

It's hard to imagine that a woman this dopey could have escaped on foot from France avoiding informers, the German military and her rich and evil relatives to make her way illegally to the US, so it's best to suspend logic and just appreciate the intense noir gloom, the Nazis, the spies and the suspicion. ( )
  pamelad | May 20, 2020 |
Julie is a refugee from Nazi France, hiding out illegally in the United States, when she unexpectedly runs into an old acquaintance. Not sure whether he's friend or enemy, she has a polite drink with him, after which he is murdered in front of her apartment. This sends Julie on the run to New Mexico to seek out the Blackbirder, who smuggles war refugees into and out of the US. Soon, menacing types are turning up all over the place, and Julie has to rely on her own resources to keep out of their clutches.

This was a decent thriller that probably would have made a terrific movie. It started out a bit slow but picked up momentum as it went along, and I appreciated the unusual Southwestern setting. Julie is an intriguing heroine who often has to rescue herself, but the plot did largely consist of her escaping from and then being caught by the same people. Hughes' writing is straightforward and simple, tending toward the repetitive; this book didn't seem as polished as her other novel I've read, The Expendable Man. I thought the end was pretty great, though. I read this on the Kindle, and there were a lot of conversion mistakes; all of the errors did detract from the reading experience, unfortunately. Fun escapist fare. ( )
  sturlington | Feb 27, 2017 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Dorothy B. Hughesprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Casella, JeanFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Tenzer, LiviaFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Villarejo, AmyEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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A classic World War II-era noir with a page-turning plot, a cast of colorfully sinister characters and a protagonist who is thrust into the heart of political intrigue, this captivating 1943 novel parallels the spy novels of Grahame Greene, Eric Ambler, and the films of Hitchcock and Lang. But in -signature Hughes fashion, The Blackbirder has a genre-bending twist: its hardboiled protagonist is a woman. Born of American expatriate parents, Julie Guilles was a pretty, sheltered rich girl growing up in Paris, a favorite of the "Ritz Bar" set. But everything changed when the Nazis rolled into the City of Lights. After three years of life underground, Julie is hiding out in New York; but she knows trouble is coming when the corpse of an acquaintance appears on her doorstep. With a host of possible dangers on her tail--the Gestapo, the FBI and the New York cops--she embarks on a desperate journey to Santa Fe in search of her last, best hope. "The Blackbirder"is a legend among refugees, a trafficker in human souls who flies under the radar to bring people to safety across the Mexican border--for a price. With no resources at her disposal but a smuggled diamond necklace and her own razor-sharp wits, Julie must navigate a tangle of dangers--and take a stand in the worldwide struggle that has shattered the lives of millions. In contrast to the typical representations of wartime women as "Mrs. Minivers" guarding home and hearth, Dorothy B. Hughes gives her intrepid heroine a place at the heart of the action Dorothy B. Hughes (1904-1993) is the author of numerous hardboiled mystery novels. Three of her books became successful films: The Fallen Sparrow (1943), Ride the Pink Horse (1947), and In a Lonely Place (1950), reprinted by the Feminist Press in 2003. In 1978 she was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.

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