BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online


    Macmillan, Fiona and Boge, Chris (2016) Lawless. In: Aristodemou, Maria and Macmillan, Fiona and Tuitt, Patricia (eds.) Crime Fiction and the Law. Birkbeck Law Press. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 123-139. ISBN 9781138818460.

    Macmillan&Boge.lawless.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (162kB) | Preview


    When Matt Bondurants’ prohibition era novel, The Wettest County in the World, was translated to the big screen by director John Hillcoat and his co-screenwriter, Nick Cave, it acquired a new title: Lawless. According to Hillcoat, in his foreword to the subsequently renamed novel (New York: Scribner, 2012; London: Canongate, 2012), the story is located in those of “the Western legends such as the Daltons and the Jameses … [it] portrays the next generation of country outlaws – the men and women who gave birth to the big-time urban mobsters like Capone by supplying the Prohibition cities with their illegal liquor … [It is] the story of the little guys out back, the foot soldiers and the worker bees who propped up the urban criminal empire, like a behind the scenes view of the lower ranks that supported a ruthless machine relentlessly pursuing the American dream in what became crime’s first major goldrush.” The film’s central thesis of lawlessness is, it seems, based upon the combination of endemic corruption in law enforcement and a popular state of disregard for the law as promulgated by the government and (not) enforced by its agents. Using the two texts, Bondurant’s novel and Hillcoat’s film, this chapter seeks to interrogate that thesis through a consideration of the nature of law as an object of presence or absence. The chapter considers whether in relation to the concept of lawlessness, a meaningful distinction can be drawn between being without law and being in a state of non-compliance with the law.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck Centre for
    Depositing User: Fiona Macmillan
    Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2016 14:46
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:26


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item