Re: RARA-AVIS: The Store

From: Schooley (
Date: 08 Jun 2001

It's amusing to hear some critics claim Ross Macdonald wrote just one book over and over, while others find that certain of his books are not typical of his work. Macdonald is of particular interest to some of us Canadians because he spent his formative years in Southern Ontario, and his style of American hardboil has some distinctively Canadian qualities.

There's the link to landscape. If not the first, Macdonald is certainly among the earliest noir authors to link environmental degredation to the moral corruption of his antagonists. And the corruption is multi-generational. Macdonald's characters have been doomed to their sins by the corrupt decisions of their parents and grandparents.

His are the shoulders Ellroy and Mosely stand upon. As the century unfolded, it became increasingly clear that core societal values passed from generation to generation have produced individual and collective lives incompatible with healthy emotional and physical existence. Many noir authors recognize the toughest battle between good and evil is internal and without victory, but Macdonald is the first and still one of the few to reveal how this works. Yet, as has been pointed out on this list earlier, Macdonald maintained a fundamental compassion for his characters.

These themes are repeated in most of Macdonald's novels. He may indeed have written the same book over and over again, but as Ellroy points out, it's still a hell of a book.


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<LOOKING FOR FUN>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The evil that men do lives after them at
Literary events in Ontario's Golden Horseshoe and around the world at
<<<<<<<<<<<IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES>>>>>>>>>>>>

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