Re: RARA-AVIS: Charles Williams

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 17 Apr 2001

Bill Crider:

<<This has been a mystery to me for years. I can't understand why Williams isn't more highly regarded. Didn't John D. MacDonald say something like, "he was the best of us at Gold Medal" or words to that effect?>>

I don't think a writer like Williams, who is neither flashy nor weird, has much of a chance of rediscovery by today's public. I find his best novels unforgettable, deep, very carefully developed, with big crescendos of well-prepared action. I don't think MacDonald was wrong, though there were many good writers at Gold Medal.

The more relevant question may be: Are *any* Gold Medal writers remembered today?

The other day my wife reminded me that all those yellow(ed) paperbacks that I cherish *are last-century stuff*. How's that for a well-prepared spousal stabbing? Needless to say, a dead calm followed. I had it coming for suggesting that certain shelves be cleared of Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir and, first of all and Salvation Army-bound, Lillian Hellman's books of memoirs. Hellman stays, the Gold Medals stay. I never thought I would owe anything to Hell Lilly.




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