From: Mark D. Nevins (nevins_mark@yahoo.com)
Date: 07 Oct 2008

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    I don't post much here since I'm still a relative newbie to crime fiction, and I'm mostly here  to learn (and I do learn a lot, and appreicate it, although one does have to wade through some fairly tiresome bickering at times).

    Anyway, I did want to chime in on the recent question: I for one am still reading John D. MacDonald and really liking what I'm reading.

    I have been (slowly) reading the Travis McGee novels in order--next one up is BRIGHT ORANGE FOR THE SHROUD.  I have not yet discovered a "private eye" (I know, he's not really one) series I like better, certainly not from that era.  As a comparison, I have found the first several McGee novels much better than the first several Parker "Spenser" books, which I also started reading but abandoned after JUDAS GOAT.

    I've also been dipping into MacDonald's stand-alones; in the last year or so I've read APRIL EVIL and THE BRASS CUPCAKE.  Neither is especially remarkable as a story, but I found each a great read. 

    Much of the pleasure in JDM comes from the author's "voice"--as a narrator, and of course through his characters, such as McGee, whom it's hard not to read as stand-in for the author.  I find MacDonald's musings on society, justice, morality, and human nature interesting and fairly distinct in terms of authorial style.  I am well aware, of course, that others can't stand his voice or style, but for me MacDonald has become one of my favorite "crime" writers, and I'm glad I still have a large shelf of his work to get through.

    I also find MacDonald's biography fairly remarkably, but then again the more I learn about mid-century crime writers, the more it seems remarkable biographies are to some extent the norm!

    Best, Mark Nevins

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