Re: RARA-AVIS: New member AND John D. MacDonald

From: George Upper (
Date: 14 May 2002

--- Ed Lynskey <> wrote:
> Question: I checked out Robert B. Parker's "Savage
> Place" this a good starting point with his
> body of work?

Hi, Ed, and welcome. You're going to get varied responses to this question, I think. Here's my take:

Parker's early stuff is excellent. A SAVAGE PLACE is not his early stuff. The Spenser series is one of the few that really should, in my opinion, be read in order. Unless you just fall in love with the characters, etc., I recommend stopping at A SAVAGE PLACE, not starting there. I've read them all, and they go downhill from there. Actually, they start going downhill before that novel, but they're still pretty good up till then. I also recommend the non-Spenser stand-alone WILDERNESS, which I actually believe to be one of Parker's best novels.

That said, however, I really enjoyed the latest Spenser novel, POTSHOT, more than I thought I would. It's not as good as the early stuff, but it's the best Spenser novel in 20 years, again in my opinion. I'm not sure whether it has come out in paperback yet.

Happy Reading.

Now, a question for the hardcore JDM fans: What are the stand-alones I absolutely should not miss? I'm getting to the end of my read-all-the-Travis-McGee-books-in-order compulsion, and I own a number of the stand-alones but have read only a couple. Here's what I have:

The Brass Cupcake Judge Me Not Murder for the Bride All These Condemned Area of Suspicion A Bullet for Cinderella April Evil (I've read this one) Border Town Girl You Live Once Death Trap A Man of Affairs The Deceivers The Executioners Soft Touch The Beach Girls Deadly Welcome The End of the Night The Only Girl in the Game Please Write for Details Slam the Big Door On the Run One More Sunday Barrier Island

Which of these should I jump on right away? What novels am I missing that I absolutely need to have?


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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