RARA-AVIS: Re: An ignoramus enquires....

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 24 Oct 2001

I laughed at Marianne's summary of McBain. She may not win lots of fans here (something she seems to realize), but it's true, McBain is a bit of a hack at times, and my reaction to several of the 87th books is the same. And he keeps recylcing the same descriptions, characters, plots, as though he doesn't expect anyone to have ever read any of his previous books. He was the king of cut-and-paste long before anyone had heard of home computers. Like, is Isola described as a lady in every third book in the series? Or does it just seem like that?

I think the overall series itself is more impressive than any individual books, sort of like a long-running and popular TV show, something like LAW AND ORDER, solid and dependable, with occasional flashes of brilliance, that nonetheless succeeds in large part because of its familiarity and rock-solid formula. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. I know it's only entertainment, but I like it.

And I like McBain, or whatever name he uses. I particularly like the Curt Cannon books, and many of his short stories are well-worth tracking down. They may not rock your world, but most will stay out of the trash until you finish reading them.


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