Re: RARA-AVIS: JDM's Barrier Island

Date: 08 Apr 2002

On Mon, 8 Apr 2002 11:57:18 -0400 (EDT) William Denton <> wrote:

> BARRIER ISLAND (1986) was John D. MacDonald's
> last novel, and since he died that year,
> perhaps someone will know if it was actually
> posthumous. I'd rank it about mid-level when
> considered against all his books, but it
> makes a nice coda. It's about real estate
> development on the Mississippi (or at least I
> think that's where). A wheeler-dealer named
> Tucker Loomis has pulled a scam where he made
> as if he'd develop an island, but he knew
> the government was going to claim it for
> conservation soon, and they'd have to pay him
> off based on the value of the developed island,
> not its value as a shifting lump of sand.

> I don't know if people down south really have
> names like this or if JDM just had a talent for
> them, but there are men in the book named Pink,
> Boob, Bern, and Ez.

One of the patrons at the public library I worked at, in a sleepy, rural south Texas town, was nicknamed 'Bern.' That same town had a candidate for the town Sheriff whose name was "Jim-Bob 'Bubba' Smith," which is how it appeared on his billboards; being named 'Jim-Bob' apparently wasn't Texas enough for him, so he threw in 'Bubba' just to win more votes.


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