RARA-AVIS: Two JDM novels

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 02 Mar 2002

I read a couple of 1957 John D. MacDonalds this week. He published his first novel in 1950, and by the end of 1957 he was up to twenty-four!

A MAN OF AFFAIRS is quite a short book. It's set in the business world, sort of, which I don't think he'd done before. Sam Glidden is vice-president of a company in trouble. The old president, last in a family line, died recently and the new president is ineffectual. A rich wheeler-dealer named Mike Dean is moving in and trying to buy up the shares belonging to the dead man's son and daughter.

Everyone ends up at Mike Dean's Caribbean island, along with a variety of others: magazine people, PR people, a faded movie star, etc. Dean's trying to get Glidden on his side so the son and daugher will sell out. There's swimming, drunkenness, debauchery, sex, finance, fishing, a young black girl named Booty, a thirty-ish white woman named Puss, and more. It's interesting seeing JDM get into the business world, which from what I recall played a larger part as his books went on. I think he got stuck on the ending and just did what he could to finish it fast.

THE EMPTY TRAP is nice, tight, fast stuff. It starts off with Lloyd Wescott being driven to his death: his girlfriend has just been murdered and on page 11 they're both put into a car and pushed off a Mexican cliff. Wescott's thrown clear, but suffers massive injuries. He's found by some mountain villagers who nurse him back to health, and then he goes back to the U.S. to kill the people who'd come after him for stealing his boss's money and wife. If you've got a cold and you're stretched out on the sofa with nothing to do, this is the kind of thing you want to read. Classic PBO stuff.


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 : 02 Mar 2002 EST