When I was in high school I read all of the Ross Macdonald
Lew Archer books and liked them a lot. There was all that
dread and dark secrets hidden in middleclass surburban
families, and it wasn't so much fear of going to prison that
motivated these people to keep these secrets covered up as
fear of being exposed to their families and neighbors for
what they really are. You could take almost any of these Lew
Archer books and flip the POV to the guilty and write some
pretty good noir novels.
Some years back I was reading a Ross Macdonald short story
and was surprised by what I considered stilted writing, and
that had me pick up my favorite Macdonald book, The Chill,
and I had about the same reaction MikeR did about the
quality--which again really surprised me. I'm going to pick
up one of my Lew Archer books again tonight and see if I
still feel that way.
As far as MikeR's generous offer to provide a more detailed
report into Macdonald's writing, I personally welcome that.
That's the type of thing that makes this group unique and
worth being a member of-- instead of people just expressing
their likes and dislikes, there's a willingness for more
critical examination. Plus, as a writer, that type of insight
from MikeR would be invaluable.
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