A Rivera reproduction of a sleeping Mexican hung on the wall over the bed But in the book, Macdonald doesn't spend much more time on atmosphere than this brief description of a motel room. And the story could take place anywhere: the author doesn't integrate the story with the place.
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Macdonald delivers, as usual, a solid plot with some surprises and a good set of characters. Aug 20, Darryl Walker rated it it was amazing. Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer short stories display the same uniform excellence as his novels. There's no filler, unless you categorize the 11 unfinished tales as such. I consider them a bonus! In the beginning the publishing industry was not kind to Lew Archer.
Early paperback covers misled readers, but the smooth intelligent prose inside erased any ire mystery buyers may have felt at being hoodwinked. The hardboiled blurb reinforced each cover, always a slightly out of focus photograph of the same man with a different woman. Those females seemed like mere decoration since the emphasis was always the male, an obvious hero who looked like a rugged Mike Hammer but dressed like James Bond on casino night.
Lew Archer is back on the case
Revised editions of the collection include these additional two mysteries. Hollywood wasn't particularly kind either; Paul Newman's insistence on being Lew Harper instead of Archer played a large role in Archer's low recognition factor in American pop consciousness by virtue of robbing the cinematic version of the character of his real name. It didn't help that both Harper movies were unforgivably miscast and not very good. Harper chewed gum, an additional travesty. I read Spillane and Fleming so how bad could it be, right?
Though only fourteen, I was immediately struck by the quality of Macdonald's engaging whodunit abilities and felt rather indignant that Bantam deliberately misrepresented Lew Archer's true nature. What I didn't realize as a youngster was those covers brilliantly lured droves of readers to Archer who ordinarily might not be interested in such an undemonstrative unassuming detectivereaders who liked their private eyes harder boiled than Sherlock Holmes. Afterwards I collected all of Macdonald's titles.
You could find them if you combed through enough used book stores. As indispensable as the novels. No voy a negarlo. Es verdad que en novela negra no estoy muy puesto. Y bien que hice, porque es un libro perfecto tanto para el coleccionista del escritor y de su detective Lew Archer como para el novato del cual soy ejemplo.
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Porque nos trae todos los relatos protagonizado No voy a negarlo. Dec 24, Arturo De Tuoni rated it really liked it. I've oft considered Ross MacDonald a solid example of a novelist who got by writing the same book over and over again. That is not meant to denigrate the man's work. The Lew Archer stories I've found to be a bit more melancholy or wistful.
MacDonald's no I've oft considered Ross MacDonald a solid example of a novelist who got by writing the same book over and over again. MacDonald's novels all tend to focus around the same themes, e. This recycling or literary bricolage can readily be evidenced in how quite a few of the stories in this collection are clearly rewrites of one another same basic plot, same character types. Also, making this worth the time of any aficionado of MacDonald or detective fiction writing in general is that the last section of this book features beginnings of incomplete stories, fragments that MacDonald never ended up using.
For me they are also a cultural history of developing California post war, as the state was taking off: the motels, roadhouses cars and free ways as well as a population of people coming out of the depression and WWII along with the wealthy. There is also something slightly febrile, even neurotic, about the atmosphere - mid century jitters and a society just getting used to psychoanalysis so that everyone, including archer, is a bit brittle.
Ross Macdonal was a great writer, and Lew Archer is a fantastic creation, but his stories need the length of a novel to breathe, grow, develop. The short stories are lacking in language and details, while the second half of the book, which contain never-used opening chapters, are a tease to something never realized.
Still worth it for the fans, thought. Feb 24, John rated it it was amazing. Gets five stars not because of the quality of the stories, per se. The first several are pretty bad actually. This collection of Ross Macdonald's stories is a showcase of how great and literary a writer he was.
Included at the end of the book are a number of tantalizing sketches of books or stories he left unfinished when he died. I would have liked to have seen where he took quite a few of them. Apr 18, Daniel rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery , collection. A good collection of short stories by Macdonald, written between the late 40s and mid 60s. The last 60 pages consists of eleven fragments or unfinished stories found among his papers. A much more decent collection of short stories than I was expecting. Raymond Chandler he ain't.
The writing has little flair, and the occasional use of an esoteric or comlex word seems self-conscious on the part of the writer. The actual mysteries are fairly edestrain and solvable, but these aren't whodunnits in the Agatha Christie Mallowan sense. Nor do they have realism of Dashiell Hammett. They do have some sense of a more modern Los Angeles than Chander wrote about. The editor does an excellent job of gathering all the data from the stories into a oherent biog Raymond Chandler he ain't.
The editor does an excellent job of gathering all the data from the stories into a oherent biography of lew Archer, so that's interesting. The sort of thing you can't do for either Marlowe or Spade. It's testament to William Goldman 's ability as a screenwriter that he wa able to take the character and one novel and get such a good movie as Harper out of them.
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The final piece in this book "Winnipeg " is actually pretty god and moving and I do wonder what McDonalds might have been if he had steered away from detective fiction and swum more in the mainstream. May 19, Jim Davis rated it liked it. Very disappointing, but not because the stories weren't very good.
Unfortunately I found that I had read most of these stories at some time in the past.
I still reread them anyway and enjoyed them the second time around. MacDonald has often been compared to Raymond Chandler and I can see the similarity more in the short story form than in MacDonald's novels. If you like one you are sure to like the other. Both writers are known for their visual imagery and use of metaphor although I have to give Very disappointing, but not because the stories weren't very good.
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Both writers are known for their visual imagery and use of metaphor although I have to give Chandler the edge here. His use of language was amazing. MacDonald occasionally tried too hard and stumbled over some awkward similes and unclear figures of speech. But I give MacDonald the edge on plotting. I sometimes found Chandler's plots to be a little meandering but the wonderful characters and Marlowe himself made up for any lapses there.
MacDonald's plots are clear and drive the stories from start to finish no matter how many elements are included. The 12 stories here cover the years from to and give a good view of Archer's evolution over the same period.
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Tom Nolan wrote a biography of Ross MacDonald and provides many interesting insights in his introduction. I was having trouble deciding whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. There were a few 4 star stories plus the introduction but there were more 3 star stories so it works out to around 3. Jul 08, Ethan rated it really liked it. This collection of short stories was my first encounter with Macdonald, and I'm looking forward to digging into the novels. I don't mean to damn with faint praise by saying Macdonald is absolutely first-rate second-rate Chandler, but that's the most succinct observation I can make.
Macdonald's own voice does come through - if anything it's a little more general, less specific than Chandler's - but on the whole, the it's the vibe of the hard-bitten PI observing a corrupt world and going a bit too This collection of short stories was my first encounter with Macdonald, and I'm looking forward to digging into the novels.
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Macdonald's own voice does come through - if anything it's a little more general, less specific than Chandler's - but on the whole, the it's the vibe of the hard-bitten PI observing a corrupt world and going a bit too far out of his way to make it better. Though there's an omnipresent post-war Los Angeles backdrop, the city and the broader Southern California milieu are much less of a character than in Chandler's work. I'm almost reminded of Asimov in the subtle timelessness of the writing - there are very few cues to specific locality or technology.
My favorite part of this volume was the "Case Notes" - a collection of several quite polished beginnings of stories that MacDonald never fleshed out.
Related The Name Is Archer (Lew Archer Short Stories)
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