Re: RARA-AVIS: Marcia Muller and long books

Date: 10 Feb 2000

In a comment about long novels, Doug Bassett noted that:

"whatever else you think of [Edward S.] Aarons, you have to admit the guy had an admirable no fuss/no muss approach to storytelling. . ."

 and goes on to ask:

"What do you guys think? . . . have you found recent hb books to be too long? Padded?"

Very often I do. Your mention of Aarons got me to thinking of how much more I prefer the earlier, shorter Matt Helm novels of Aarons's Gold Medal stable-mate Donald Hamilton, to the more recent, longer "blockbusters."

I still love Hamilton, but there was something about those leaner, more spare early works.

Very often I also find this true of the earlier, shorter 87th Pct novels of McBain. I still love them, but the early stuff, each less than two hundred pages long, "blew me away" in my sald days. I wouldn't call the more recent stuff "bloated," but it's certainly more leisurely,

And now that I think about it, I didn't like Richard Stark's *Butcher's Moon* as well as the shorter Parker novels that led up to it. I haven't read *Comeback* or
*Backflash* yet. How do they stand up?


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