ride the pink horse book co er

E57 — Ride the Pink Horse — The Expendable Man –Dorothy B. Hughes

We are back to discuss two masterpieces from Dorothy B. Hughes, one of the masters of 20th Century crime fiction. At first, we set out to cover The Expendable Man but we just couldn’t resist the temptation to read more, so we added Ride the Pink Horse to the discussion.
Both books are excellent in exploring similar themes of the Southwest as a man comes to town and things don’t end up going all that smoothly. Enjoy.

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2 thoughts on “E57 — Ride the Pink Horse — The Expendable Man –Dorothy B. Hughes”

  1. I was delighted to hear you giving Dorothy B. Hughes the attention she deserves. I first discovered her years ago when Bruce Willis hired me to write a remake of the Humphrey Bogart film based upon Hughes’ IN A LONELY PLACE. The screen version of that story is very different from the novel. In the book, the protagonist is a serial killer. In the movie, he’s an innocent (if angry) man suspected of being a serial killer. I was working from the Bogart film, but I started my work by reading the novel, a novel so good that I’ve since read a number of her other books, including the two under discussion in your current podcast. I agree with you that RIDE THE PINK HORSE is the better of the two. I myself would say far better. I frankly think you overrate THE EXPENDABLE MAN because it deals so directly and humanely with the racial issues at the forefront of our consciousness today. Its weakness is the one you point out but minimize: the protagonist is completely undefined, a kind of Black Everyman. I find this particularly disappointing because, for me at least, one of the great strengths of Hughes’ work is the complexity and depth of the characters in her best work–characters like Dixon Steele, the protagonist of IN A LONELY PLACE. So…consider this both a minority report and a thank-you for calling attention to the achievements of Dorothy B. Hughes.

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