Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Happy Birthday, Ross Macdonald

Kenneth Millar would have been 90 years old today. I'm sorry he isn't around to celebrate. There's no question that his books, under the name Ross Macdonald, were among the most influential on me back in my formative years. For me, he's right up there with the other greats of the mystery field, and he always will be. Some readers (notably Donald Westlake) have complained that Macdonald told the same story again and again. Maybe so, but it was a great story, and it might have been a story that Macdonald was compelled to tell. Here's what he once said: "I was in trouble, and Lew Archer got me out of it... I couldn't work directly with my own experiences and feelings. A narrator had to be interposed, like protective lead, between me and the radioactive material." If you've never read Macdonald's work, you're missing some great stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Out of the major detectives of the fifties, Archer is my least favorite. Most of the "compassionate eyes" seem like whiners.