RARA-AVIS: Dewey; Macdonald; Gatsby

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@postikaista.net)
Date: 01 Dec 2004

On several issues:

Hubin's crime bibliography says that Dewey's first novel "Draw the Curtain Close" (1947) is a Singer Batts novel, not Mac. The other novel that was mentioned is a one-off ("Every Bet's a Sure Thing", 1953).

There's indeed lot of compassion in "Mean Streets", the only Mac novel I've read so far, but it's a bit different than in Macdonald. And there's no massive suffering and angst behind the story that is so prevalent in Macdonald's novels. It would be interesting to read some of the less-known PI writers of the fourties and fifties (Floyd Mahannah, for example) and track down the first showings of sympathy.

It's been long since I've read any Ross Macdonald but I agree that he is more of an influence to recent hardboiled writers - those have been mentioned already. I'd add John Marshall Tanner in the list. Macdonald's influence can be seen even in the Mike Shayne books that were written by Dennis Lynds.

As for "Gatsby", I've always thought that "The Long Goodbye" was a rewrite of Fitzgerald's novel - the theme and the tone are similar, even though the plots are very different. I don't know what was Chandler's reaction to Fitzgerald.


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