Re: RARA-AVIS: Allan Guthrie's Top 200 Noirs

From: Patrick King (
Date: 20 Dec 2007

--- William Ahearn <> wrote:
> The last three or so really sucked in my opinion and
> I
> really like McBain.
******************************************************Well, I admit Fat Ollie's Book was NOT as good as it gets. But McBain was old and dying when he wrote it. And I have read worse books by writers who are consistently bad. At his worst, McBain is better than most. The Frumious Bandersnatch was not very good, either, but it had a very interesting premise, as all his books do. Criminal Conversations, was fabulous as was the last Matthew Hope story, The Last Best Hope. It lived up to its title. The thing with McBain is that, like Leonard, his characters behave like people. They're inconsistent. Good people do stupid things and then have to work their way out of a problem, and sometimes they do more stupid things. He never resorts to ideals of what people should be. The kids he writes are like real kids. They lie to their parents about sex and drugs. Even his villians are just people making a living at things most people don't approve of. They're not malicious until they find themselves in a situation where malice seems like a sole option.

Patrick King

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