RARA-AVIS: RARA AVIS: Charles WIlliams

From: Dixon H. Chandler II ( dchandler@nettally.com)
Date: 18 Apr 2001

Charles Williams:

I'm partial to The Sailcloth Shroud, possibly because I read it before Dead Calm. Scorpion Reef is good, and The Wrong Venus is a good comic novel. I can't understand why Williams doesn't have more readers. He's fantastic.

I wonder if MacDonald thought so highly of Williams because they share that same disillusionment? Williams' guys seem to fall for a broken woman, get shat upon by her, beat up for her, and generally screwed over. Travis McGee follows that path too, but MacDonald seemed too headstrong personally to create a hero who would end with nothing. Travis may bear the emotional wounds, but he rarely leaves the book financially ruined. (Or am I misremembering?) Williams, underneath it all, is pretty black. He may present the facade of romanticism, but it literally burns away underneath the light of day. (Probably why I like him so much!)


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