Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent purchases

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 28 Oct 2003

--- William Denton <> wrote:
> John D. MacDonald, THE DAMNED (Fawcett Gold Medal
> 240, 1952). The cover
> is a couple out on a country hillside--she's a dishy
> bra-clad blonde
> laying on the ground with his shirt partially draped
> over her bosom, he's
> a handsome shirtless young fellow who's looking at
> her with concern, his
> chin resting on his hand. In the middle of the
> picture, in big words, it
> SPILLANE." On the back,
> it says, "MICKEY SPILLANE says he wishes he had
> written this book. No
> wonder--it's by John D. MacDonald, the author of
> those other Gold Medal
> greats" with a list of four titles.
> This is a second printing, from 1953. I have a
> later edition (Gold Medal
> #R2052, 1968 or 1969) that has a similar
> illustration on the cover, a
> couple in the same position and dressed the same
> way, but with no
> background, and she's wearing a strapless blue bra
> or something that's
> partly obscured by his shirt. I haven't read the
> book yet, but I assume
> either this is an important scene in it or the
> second artist just copied
> the first. This is one of JDM's best, isn't it?

I really didn't like it, but I've got a minority opinion on JDM's non-McGees. Briefly, although there are some good ones (SOFT TOUCH, END OF THE NIGHT, KEY TO THE SUITE, A FLASH OF GREEN) I think they're mostly crap, either very strained efforts that show a lot of their pulp roots (ONE MONDAY WE KILLED THEM ALL), or very sudsy efforts that owe one hell of a lot to John O'Hara (CONTRARY PLEASURE, the one you just got.)

Like I said, I recognize this is a minority POV.

My own recent purchases:

JDM -- THE LAST ONE LEFT. I'm hoping this is one of the good non-McGees. Published in 1967, which is a good sign, I hope.



Derek Raymond -- HOW THE DEAD LIVE. Third in the Factory series of novels; I've read HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN and THE DEVIL'S HOME ON LEAVE (Factory #1 and #2), both of which I thought were marvelous.

Teri White -- FAULT LINES. Thoughts on her?

Newton Thornburg -- CUTTER AND BONE. I've been looking for this one for a long, long time -- my copy is shot to hell but I've not seen this elsewhere.

Ross Thomas -- YELLOW DOG CONTRACT. Thomas is one of my favorite writers in the genre, this is one of the few that I haven't already read.

and E. Richard Johnson -- THE CARDINALLI CONTRACT. I've gotten interested in Seventies era hardboiled -- say anything before the appearance of Spenser. I've got a gut feeling that a lot of good hardboiled books sort of floated under the radar back then. Anyway, the only other Johnson I've read is MONGO'S BACK IN TOWN, which I remember as being crude but effective.


===== Doug Bassett

__________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Exclusive Video Premiere - Britney Spears

# Plain ASCII text only, please.  Anything else won't show up.
# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 28 Oct 2003 EST