RARA-AVIS: Cosmo & MacDonald

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 27 Jun 2003

In a message dated 6/27/03 4:02:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

> Overall, the novel feels like it was rushed. Too much was crammed into
> small a novel. It originally appeared in a shorter form in "Cosmopolitan"
> JDM novels with that beginning are seldom among his best.
 Not quite sure why that should be, Richard. Although they printed abridged
 versions, "Cosmopolitan" bought the entire novels, not shortened versions of
 them. "Soft Touch", which is extremely highly regarded by JDM fans, first
 appeared in "Cosmopolitan" as "Taint Of The Tiger."
You caught me in a tossed off last line of a long post that had not been thought through. More correctly I should have asked it as a question as I had not reviewed the other MacDonald novels with that magazine heritage. I did know that THE END OF THE NIGHT, which came in for lumps earlier this month, also was originally in Cosmopolitan and made the snap statement. I can't find my copy of SOFT TOUCH to reread or refresh my memory. I am not sure that Cosmo buying the whole novel has any impact on anything. The magazine money from such publications was quite good and they could be quite choosy about which novels fit their needs. It seems logical that a writer aiming for his book to be presented in a shortened form for big bucks could be influenced by that possibility. I can't say this was true of MacDonald and I want to review more carefully the others of his novels to see if my snap judgement on the quality is off-base. It is widely thought that Erle Gardner's books suffered during the time he was earning most of his money through the serialization in the slicks.

So I withdraw the statement and ask the question.

Richard Moore

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