Passing the Page 99 Test

Book blogger Marshal Zeringue challenged me to take the p.99 test and The Origins of Cool passed the mystical test with flying colors. The reader lands on my analysis of This Gun for Hire and a definition of noir cool. Although often derided as a "pulp existentialism," noir cool was instead a stylish stoicism, a state of thoughtful calm conveyed by artistic expressions of stylized resilience. As for the early noir This Gun For Hire, it featured the first pairing of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake (left) -- looking here like the Hollywood goddess of Night  -- and caught the soon-to-be Greatest Generation's youthful desire for the new cool register represented by Ladd-and-Lake's low-key eroticism.