If I may put my two cents worth in...Patrick, clearly your mind is made up where Ross MacDonald is concerned, and I admire your conviction (even though I am an Lew Archer fan.) What I don't understand is since you are convinced there is "not that much to feel strongly about" in MacDonald's work, then what do you expect to get out of continuing to read or re-read his books? Won't you keep arriving at the same conclusion, given your convictions?
Again, just my two-cents worth with a pinch of ignorance (on my part) thrown in for good measure.
________________________________________ From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Patrick King [email@example.com] Sent: August 5, 2009 1:25 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Tobias Jones on Ross Macdonald in yesterday's Guardian
On has to wonder why, if you don't like him, you've continued to read him. I like him, but taste is taste, and you're entitled to your own. But are there so few books that ARE to your taste that you have to resort to the occasional Ross Macdonald whenever you really start jonesing for a crime novel?
I make a point of keeping up with successful writers in the genres I'm interested in whether I like them or not. I'm curious about "popularity". I absolutely hate Stark's Parker novels, for example, but I drag myself through them because I know he has a million fans and I'm curious about what they can possibly see in these tedious, goody-two-shoes books. I'll admit for the most part I listen to them on audio books rather than spend precious reading time with them, however. I don't feel as strongly about Ross MacDonald because, and you seem to agree, there's not that much to feel strongly about. I can more easily connect Lew Archer with Elmo & Ernie than I can with Spade & Marlow.
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