RARA-AVIS: That old stuff

From: Anders Engwall (anders.engwall@comhem.se)
Date: 16 Jul 2010

  • Next message: Ron Clinton: "RE: RARA-AVIS: That old stuff"

    OK, so here's another angle. Has anyone else noticed that that some of that old vintage stuff seems considerably more modern than others?

    Case in point: I just finished John D. MacDonald's "The Price of Murder". A fine read, for sure, but there are certain things in it that dates it just so badly. Most obvious is the almost bullyish attitude towards women; according to JDM they need a firm male fist to keep them in line. "That pretty little wife of yours might benefit greatly if you were to beat her frequently" one of the characters says at one point -- and that's from one of the good guys. I mean -- what the hell is that?

    Now, compare this to Ed McBain's "The Con Man" which I finished before that. It's from the same 1957 as JDM's book, yet McBain seems as fresh and contemporary as if it were written yesterday. What gives? Could someone explain why McBain's novel seems more contemporary than JDM's? Any other examples of oldies that seem to be written just a few weeks ago?

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