> I just finished a John D McDonald standalone, "One Monday We Killed
> Them All". what a title, eh?
> I had a mixed reaction to this book, mostly on account of the
> narrative voice. it's written in first person, but about a third of
> the time I was unconvinced that what I was reading was how that
> character would actually say or describe something. especially, like
> in the McGee books, when characters would go on lengthy implausible
> monologues about a topic, in McDonald's "pointed sociological
> asides" way, here mostly about the state of American justice. too
> much of John D putting his words into his characters' mouths. that
> stuff really bugs me, pulls me out of the story, just makes me roll
> my eyes. it's a mistake that John D's peers, like Charles Williams
> and Gil Brewer and Jim Thompson, were much less likely to make when
> writing in first person.
I don't want to turn this into a big political debate, but I was
wondering if you tended to agree with McGee's rants or not. Because
I've found that often a reader's tolerance for digressions (or off-
topic rants or socio-political pontificating or whatever you call it)
depended on whether they agreed with the digressions or not.
Some people thought Mike Hammer should just shut up; others feel
Warshawski should put a sock in it. Me, I just put down their rants as
being part of who they are.
Yet MacDonald, Paretsky and Spillane -- unlike Charles Williams and
Gil Brewer and Jim Thompson -- are or were mainstream bestsellers, so
those same rants must have been more readily acceptable to a lot of
Some people don't like characters to have opinions; other people just
don't like characters to have opinions they don't share.
Kevin Burton Smith
The Thrilling Detective Web Site
"Wasting your time on the web since 1998."
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