RARA-AVIS: Re: Ed McBains 87th Precinct

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 04 Jul 2007


Re your comment below:

"One thing that did stick out to me, since it had been a few years since I read an 87th Precinct, was the way that McBain has not aged his characters all the way to old men, in spite of the first having been published in 1956. I didn't see anything about the Twins in TFB, but I may have forgotten it since it is a few months since I read it. But Carella was married to the same woman, Teddy, I think her name is."

Steve's still married to Teddy. The twins are about 10 and have been for the last quarter century or so, having taken some fifteen years to get to the age of 10.

I'm not really sure why this surprises you. Comparatively few long-lasting series characters age at the same rate real people do.

Actually, in the earliest 87th's, Steve and most of the other squad members are WW2 vets in their late 20's or early 30's (except for Meyer who was 37). It was Bert Kling, still in his early 20's, who was the Korean vet.

By the end, Kling was in his early 30's, the rest were in their late 30's or early 40's, and Meyer was still 37.

But, compared to Shell Scott who stayed 30 for more than 50 years, or Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, who stayed the exact same age while other around them got older, McBain's handled the age question with comparative realism.


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