RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Tobias Jones on Ross Macdonald in yesterday's Guardian

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 03 Aug 2009

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    Patrick wrote:
    "Archer has absolutely no range of character at all, no distinguishing traits, no real opinions." You say that like it's a bad thing. I see that as one of the great things about Archer, especially in the second half of the series (we do get some history of Archer in the first half, much of which leans pretty heavily on Chandler, as Chandler famously complained). He becomes almost a passive camera, a fly on the wall. I seriously think this increasing absence of presence allowed me to more throughly take on his skin, see through his eyes, become the first person PI more thoroughly than with other PIs with more personality. And when I read them the first time, during late adolescence, I was completely in line with the doomed romanticism that suffused the novels. I wore them. That said, they're great, but I would still place him a bit below Hammett and Chandler. Mark

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