RE: RARA-AVIS: Speaking of Newman movies...and Ross Macdonald...

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 07 Jun 2001

I strongly dislike Harper, and not only because of Newman. I wonder if there's some intrinsic problem with the translation of Macdonald's fiction into film, or at least, into Hollywood's mold. I wish Ingmar Bergman had taken a shot at, say, The Zebra-Striped Hearse (one of my favorite Macdonald books).

I imagine a good adaptation would have to be quite slow and stylized to capture the spirit of the thing.

Which brings us to the question: what's so great about Ross Macdonald?

I would like to contribute something about Howard Browne; since the books are packed for now, I have to rely on memory of my most recent read by him, Pork City (circa 1987). This is a fine historical gangster novel taking place around 1930 in Chicago, with Capone and other celebrities of the day. I highly recommend it. It fits in well with the current Santé ´hread.

Of the Paul Pine books, the last one I remember reading was one of the Halos, the one with a lesbian in it. Pretty dated viewpoint but the action and the writing were very good. There's a prefatory apology by Browne in the reprint
(for being derogatory about lesbians).



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