Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: That Ever-popular Macdonald Conspiracy Theory

blumenidiot (
Sat, 6 Mar 1999 15:15:08 -0600 From: M-T :(edited)
However, his(MacDonald's) thematic range is quite narrow, and
>his cast of characters is restricted almost exclusively to certain
>groups of wealthy people in Southern California and their young.

><<Certainly you can see traces of Archer's compassion (or bleeding heart
>weenie-ness, depending on your point of view) in the work of Robert
>Parker, Robert Crais, >>
>I think Parker and Crais take after Chandler, not Macdonald.

I assume most writers in a genre are pretty well read. They are are going to
be influenced by those who preceded them, but you can't put Parker and Crais
in separate camps in different paragraphs to buttress your arguments.
Parker has openly stated his debt to Chandler yet in his early books many of
Spenser's concerns are saving the emotional, as well as physical lives of
people. Often these are children of wealthy parents. Granted, he doesn't
usually have to go deep in the past to find hidden truths as did MacDonald,
but I view that as a weakness in the books' plots, not a strength.

As a product of his time Elvis Cole has to show some "bleeding heart
weenie-ness", but because he has followed Parker's lead in having much of
the action and the books' appeal depend on a psychotic sidekick, Crais can
not be put in the MacDonald camp. There is not much compassion in either
Hawk or Joe Pike.
Mark Blumenthal

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at