RARA-AVIS: The Moving Target

From: George Pelecanos ( shoedog1@erols.com)
Date: 29 Mar 2001

Yes, the Archer novels by Macdonald are strikingly similar in terns of theme and plot. Like David Goodis, he essentially wrote one book over and over again, but, as others have pointed out, it was a good book. Aside from the titles themselves, which suggest a Chandleresque world, I don't think of Macdonald as being hardboiled or noir. More often than not the setting is miles away from the street, and Archer rarely seems to be in any kind of danger. Action fans will be disappointed, too, as not much "happens" in these books (with the exception of The Blue Hammer, a later effort which involves a woman in distress and some gunplay, if I remember correctly). In the end, you read Macdonald because of the beauty and care put forth in the writing itself, and his insights into human nature. I agree that the The Galton Case is the exemplary Macdonald novel, but you would be hard-pressed to find a bad one in the bunch.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Mar 2001 EST