Re[2]: RARA-AVIS: Ross Macdonald bio
05 Mar 99 11:53:00 -0500 --UNS_gsauns2_3070117486
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Re Mark & Bill's comments below

"Newsweek had a cover article on him. I think it was 1971. I think the
Sunday NY Times book section had first page reviews two of his books
around that year." (Mark)

"his" [Macdonald's] "rep as Hardboiled Great #3 was pretty much
manufacturd by a couple of critics at Time and some other magazine?"

Although the articles referred to did cement Macdonald's status as a
best-selling writer, they were not the beginning of his being thought of as the
"Holy Ghost" to Hammett's "Father" and Chandler's "Son." If there is any one
critic who put Macdonald in that august company, it was Anthony Boucher, who
once said that, without in the least diminishing his admiration for Hammett and
Chandler, he believed that Macdonald was the best writer of the three. I
believe he said that in the early '60s. Certainly, critics started using the
phrase "in the tradition of Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald" as early as the
'60s. The fact that Knopf was the publisher of all three also lent some
gravitas to Macdonald, as did the fact that Hammett's first PI novel appeared in
'29, Chandler's in '39, and Macdonald's in '49 made it seem like a natural
development in the PI novel was taking place. While Macdonald may not have been
perceived as the equal of Hammett and Chandler as early as the '50s, he was
certainly the most critically acclaimed PI writer of that decade. Michael
Avallone (RIP) was the one who coined the "Father, Son, & Holy Ghost" quip to
describe Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald, again, I beleive, in the early '60s.
The critical and commercial success of the film *Harper*, based on Macdonald's
first novel *The Moving Target*, in '66 added to his luster. All this predates
the articles in *Newsweek* and the *NY Time Book Review*. These really were the
culmination of a long process of critical acclaim that greeted Macdonald almost
from the first. - Jim Doherty

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