Re: RARA-AVIS: Question about Ross MacDonald's works

From: Jacques Debierue (
Date: 13 Mar 2007

--- In, harry.lerner@... wrote:
> Mark,
> Your point about Archer not really being personally involved in his own
> books raises an interesting point of comparison between MacDonald's
> Archer and non-Archer books. I finished "The Ferguson Affair" not too
> long ago and the main character, William Gunnarson, was very much
> personally invested in the outcome of the story. MacDonald actually
> delved quite a bit into Gunnarson's personal life, including his
> marriage and impending fatherhood. Although I mentioned in my previous
> e-mail that MacDonald's non-Archer books are in alot of ways similar to
> his Archer stories, here is at least one point of notable departure.

I think Archer is involved, but elliptically. He is not a character who tells you what he is thinking. That is part of his attraction and why he endures. You can't tire of him because he is so enigmatic.

> Not having done a lot of reading on MacDonald himself (his biography by
> Tom Nolan is sitting on my to read shelf at the moment) I would be
> curious if anyone has any thoughts as to what may have motivated
> MacDonald to make this particular change.

I don't remember the details, but The Ferguson Affair was an attempt to change course. Then he veered back to Archer, with a vengeance.



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