You expressed some of my feelings about John D.
I always expressed a similar point of view, since the early days of R-A : McGee is secondary struff, formatted (with 2 or three exceptions); the real thing is in his earlier works. Of course, everything in his huge production is not of prime interest, but gosh, for the fifties and early sixties he was a very good HB writer.
I could not find his letters, but I read at least 12 of his novels (besides McGees) and John D. is one of the authors that did me fall early in the HB/noir trap.
A KEY TO THE SUITE, of course- one of his bests. But also: THE END OF NIGHT (dark and unusual at the time), THE EMPTY TRAP, THE EXECUTIONERS, A BULLET FOR CINDERELLA... and others.
I could easily trade Ross for John D.
--- En date de : Lun 19.10.09, moorich2 <email@example.com> a écrit :
I loved John D. from the time I began reading him around 1959. I never liked the McGees as much as the earlier novels and really grew weary of the lectures in the later novels. I've tried to reread a few in recent years and I can't finish them. The holier-than- thou tone and smugness ruins any chance of enjoyment.
Worse yet, I read the book of letters between John D. and comedian Dan Rowan and several of his letters written to novelist Bordan Deal published elsewhere, and that voice...his personal voice...comes across even more as a smug prick. I will be curious to see if my growing negative feelings about his later-day voice will carry over to any rereading of the earlier novels.
I don't think it will. I loved A KEY TO THE SUITE, for example, and read it several times. I don't believe I would remember it so fondly if it had any of the tone that so grates on me now.
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