Re: RARA-AVIS: Black Money

From: Charlie Wilson (
Date: 30 Jan 2005

Hey, it's not February yet. It's been a long time since I read the Lew Archer series, but they were some of my early faves. Black Money was all right, but I'd recommend The Zebra Striped Hearse and The Chill. What always fascinated me was the plotting. The stories were always a circle, no matter how byzantine the path by which you arrived. And the stories were tragedies. Not light reading by any stretch of the imagination. Ah, if only I hadn't had that yard sale after I got married ... CJ

Vince Keenan wrote:

> I realize I'm coming to this party a little late. It took me a while to
> track down a copy of BLACK MONEY, and when I did get one I wasn't able to
> get to it right away. But I've read the book, and it's still January,
> so I'm
> putting my two cents in.
> I liked it.
> The plot took a while to develop, but I stayed with it because of
> MacDonald's prose and his attitude. Archer's take on the other characters
> and their milieu walked a fine line between amusement and contempt. (I
> can
> certainly see, though, how some readers would feel that he veered too far
> into the latter.) I thought MacDonald shaded Archer's reaction nicely: an
> initial defensive dislike of his client and the others in his circle that
> gradually dissipated as he came to know them.
> The material on academics was the book's strongest suit. I particularly
> liked the sketch of Bosch, the younger professor, and MacDonald's
> palpable
> relief that a new generation with new attitudes was taking over. The
> women
> characters tended to blur together, all of them saddled with men who
> don't
> recognize or appreciate their mates' strength. As others have pointed
> out,
> Ginny never came into her own despite being at the crux of the story.
> For what it's worth, it was a refreshing change of pace to read about
> a P.I.
> who has, in this novel at least, a professional relationship with the
> police.
> I have to shamefacedly admit that this is my first experience with
> MacDonald
> aside from some short fiction in various collections. BLACK MONEY may not
> have been the ideal place to start, but I certainly intend to read
> more of
> his work. I'm glad the list gave me the opportunity to start filling a
> gap
> in my reading.
> Vince Keenan
> Pop culture, high and low, past and present.
> One day at a time.
> RARA-AVIS home page:
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