Re: RARA-AVIS: THE DARK TUNNEL, by Ross MacDonald 1944

Date: 12 Dec 2002

In a message dated 12/12/02 9:58:13 AM, writes:

<< I guess, for one thing, I didn't find the main protagonist

compelling. >>

    I haven't read this one, Miker, but my experience with Ross Mac is that he often kept his main characters in the shadows. He outChandlers Chandler
(but perhaps not Hammett) in that regard. The reader must follow someone he/she doesn't get to know all that well. It's interesting (at least to me) that you chose to compare the styles and effectiveness of the two MacDonalds
- I remember when John D. sued Ross over the use of his name, young mystery fans I knew at the time lined up on one side of the lawsuit or the other on the basis of the work they enjoyed reading. There wasn't much crossover among the real devotees; you were either an Lew A. aficionado and found John D. too purple and full of hot air, or you loved old Travis and thought the Archer books were repetitive and dull. I enjoyed Travis (and the other MacDonald books) as much as I enjoyed anything I was reading at the time, but I believe I learned more about writing from paying attention to how Ross nailed his boards together.

                                        Jim Blue


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