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

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 12 Dec 2002

Jim Blue wrote:
... 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.
********** Although they do have the same last name, the reason I compared the two was based on their comparable popularity in the genre. There was a thread here at one time mentioning the "big three," and someone noted that the first two were probably Hammett and Chandler, but wondered if the third was JDM. I think that if Ross hadn't come along that JDM might have been a part of that noble triumvirate.

Speaking of JDM, I'm looking forward to reading my first non-Travis novel, CAPE FEAR (THE EXECUTIONERS), for the Fifties theme. He wrote for quite a while before Travis popped up, didn't he?


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