Re: RARA-AVIS: Ross Macdonald's influence

From: Richard Moore (
Date: 30 Nov 2004

Your reaction to Macdonald is similar to mine. His best work sweeps me along while I'm reading it and his stock soars on the Moore appreciation exchange. But I find myself in discussions like this one kicking dents in his hubcaps. For example I stirred the pot saying I found Lew Archer two-dimensional--and I do. That has not kept me from enjoying and appreciating many an Archer story. And after all, I love Hammett's Continental Op stories and that chubby PI didn't even get a name dropped on him, much less a girlfriend, a black sidekick and a favorite brand of whisky.

Richard Moore

--- In, "Jacques Debierue"
<matrxtech@y...> wrote:
> I think Ross Macdonald's influence on his and subsequent
> generations of PI writers is enormous. We have discussed his
> stature ad nauseam here, with entertaining but divergent
> conclusions.
> My experience is: when I'm not reading him, I tend to think he's
> overrated, but when I'm in the middle of one of his novels, I
> he's underrated. Let's say that he's the most overunderrated or
> underoverrated PI writer.
> By the way, I don't find Archer so two-dimensional... Does having
> a Susan, a Hawk and a dog make Spenser a fuller character
> than Archer? And let's not forget that some of the greatest
> characters in modern fiction are enigmatic (Josef K., for
> example).
> Best,
> MrT

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Nov 2004 EST