RE: RARA-AVIS: That old stuff

From: Anders Engwall (
Date: 21 Jul 2010

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    It is certainly true that if a narrator spills opinions around, he/she risks going out of fashion pretty soon. In the case of JDM if you advise on the subject on Why And How To Spank Your Wife it is more probable.

    Perhaps I should have asked for writing that has dated badly, rather than otherwise. After all, stuff that does not date badly tends to be better remembered.

    At the moment I'm reading The Ninth Hour by Ben Benson - another 1957 novel. Compared to McBain this too seems dated, albeit not in such an obvious way as in the case of JDM's wife spanking essay. The difference is that in McBain's novels of the time, people get laid and it's not that a big deal. In the case of Benson - well people do not, and that's that. Benson just is so much more, well... chaste than McBain.

    Not that there is anything wrong about Benson's novel - the suspense is terrific. Yet, Steve Carella is just so much more of a real person than Wade Paris ever was.

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