Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V3 #227

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 09 May 2000

<<I am convinced that Adams did everything he could to make him as unsympathetic and unlikable as possible. It is too far over the line to be an accident. Cringe? Let me quote an oft-quoted line from McBride: "What this country goddamned well needs is a Gestapo.">>

It's hard to imagine the mindset of the (evidently male) readers of Cleve Adams's novels, but there's no question that he was popular. What that tells me is that lots of guys in this country a) liked McBride and b) agreed with him
(about the need for a Gestapo and similar institutions). So what we see as a deliberately unlikable protagonist may have been in fact an extreme case of playing to the gallery. It's not a gallery I would like to frequent.

By the way, I don't think Cleve Adams has been written about much. His extreme paranoia and fascistic attitudes would make a nice topic for a thesis, maybe in a double-barrelled study that also includes Spillane.



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