RARA-AVIS: JDM's Please Write for Details

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 09 Feb 2002

I read John D. MacDonald's PLEASE WRITE FOR DETAILS (1959) a few days ago. It's not a mystery or thriller, but in the Grand Hotel vein, with a large group of people drawn together for a while, then parting. A nebbishy fellow who needs some money gets some help from a rich, sloppy blonde and arranges a summer art school in Cuernevaca, Mexico. A variety of Americans come down: a retired soldier, two rich young Texan beauties, a guy whose wife left him, a noble architect, two elderly small-town widows, a beautiful young recent widow, etc. By the end of it they've all mixed together over the summer with the teachers and local people, and the weak ones are stronger, the hurt ones mended, the bad ones punished. It's tightly written, and interesting to see how JDM sets up the people and has things unfold. Anything like this can suffer because of the self-imposed restrictions, but JDM's a damned good writer and he makes it work, though it's a minor work in his canon. You can draw a line from it to CONDOMINIUM (1977) (which I also liked, but some don't).


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

-- # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 Feb 2002 EST