Re: RARA-AVIS: Paen to MacDonald

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 29 Apr 2000

I got interested in hb fiction through the Travis McGee series -- the very first book I ever read in the genre, in fact, was THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE. So John D. will always have a special place in my heart. I think the McGee series is the textbook example of how to do such a thing well -- it's too bad that many current hb writers aren't willing to take the chances Macdonald did.

His non-McGee stuff varies in quality -- some of his very early books sound preachy to me, while a few of the later ones (CONDOMINIUM) are bloated. But the best of them are masterful in their insight into American life and mores. I think he understood his time and age better than any of his peers.

Yeah, you could go on and on and on talking about John D. -- he's that rich of a writer. I'll just end this by recommending A FLASH OF GREEN, one of his better later novels. It incorporates a lot of his themes: environmental issues, shady business dealings, an interest in moral corruption and the ways it can occur. Very depressing in spots, but that's a tribute to John D.'s unblinking clarity of vision. Worth picking up if you see it.


--- James Rogers <> wrote:
> I really mean all this crap, and I don't think I
> am just puffing the
> guy. Don't we have any stone-cold MacDonald fans on
> the list? And does
> anyone know how a Harvard grad came to crank out
> cheap paperback originals?

===== Doug Bassett

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