RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Black Money

From: Burridge, Stephen (
Date: 04 Jan 2005

Perhaps I should first briefly introduce myself. I'm a middle aged, fairly omnivorous "general reader" who has recently been taking an interest in the kind of literature discussed on this list. I've been subscribed for a number of months now, and I'm enjoying the discussions.

I just finished "Black Money" last night. It's the first Ross MacDonald I've read in many years. I read a few a long time ago, and all I really remembered was that the plots all seemed to involve bad behaviour many years before having repercussions on the lives of present day family members. "Black Money" isn't really like that. The past that needs excavating is only a few years back.

I was quite impressed. There is some interesting writing. Archer seems like an odd character: very occasionally flaws and vulnerabilities appear, though most of the time he's the superior, more worldly observer. I'm thinking of his momentary susceptibility to the charms of one of the female characters, or when he reacts to a setback by getting drunk. As Mr. Denton noted, many of the characters are awfully open about their lives when speaking to him, for no apparent reason.

As far as the question of influence is concerned, I don't really know the genre or its history well enough to make any kind of informed comment, but the book did make me think of Kinsey Milhone's observations of the Santa Teresa scene. She's a more down-to-earth character than Archer, though.

Stephen Burridge

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Jan 2005 EST