Re: RARA-AVIS: Dan Rowan and John D. MacDonald?

Date: 17 Sep 2000

Yes, it is the Rowan of Rowan and Martin. As with all collections of correspondence (with the exception maybe of Agee's letters to Father Flye(sp?)), there are some nuggets and there is some pretty mundane stuff. If you're interested in show business, in particular TV, of the late-1960s, and if you're interested in the publishing game of that same time frame, I'd recommend it. Good insights into the characters of both men. That being said, I should point out that while I really love MacDonald's work and I certainly bang the drum for his early environmentalist stands and his appreciation of the dread about the coming of what a lot of people call the Californication of America (shopping malls, cable TV, generic everything), his personal life was not nearly as interesting as say Hammett's or Chandler's or Himes'. Spend an afternoon reading the slim new biography of MacDonald, THE RED HOT TYPEWRITER, and you'll come away with the understanding that the man was a lot less compelling than his works.


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