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
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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