From: Bill Crider ( abc@wt.net)
Date: 17 Sep 2000

Kip's comment about John D. MacDonald's personal life not being as compelling as his works reminds me that I, too, have recently read THE RED-HOT TYPEWRITER. (Terrible title, by the way.) I was left with the feeling that MacDonald might have been pretty interesting but that Hugh Merrill didn't make him seem that way. There's evidence of lots of research in the book, but for some reason, there are no interviews with anyone who knew MacDonald. His son, who might have something to offer, is quoted only very briefly. There's no insight at all into MacDonald's writing or research methods, nothing about how the books were written. One chapter is even written sort on in a "he had the flu and then he wrote; he got pneumonia and then he wrote, etc." And there are some really bad errors as well, the main one maybe where Merrill calls Halliday's Mike Shayne an imitation of Mike Hammer. I thought the book was an opportunity missed.

That said, I think A FRIENDSHIP is worth reading. I bought mine from a big stack of remainders a few years ago, and I wish I'd bought the whole stack.
 Maybe I could sell 'em to Terrill for his new store. Congratulations on becoming a dealer, Terrill!

Bill Crider

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