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Ross Macdonald
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The Detectives > Lew Archer

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message 1: by Michael, Anti-Hero (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 279 comments Mod
What do people think of Ross Macdonald's South Californian Private Eye Lew Archer?

is he just a homage to Dashiell Hammett's character Miles Archer or does his work as a military intelligence office during the war make him a unique character?


message 2: by Mohammed (last edited Feb 21, 2012 11:38AM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) Most early PI heroes was military intellegence in the great wars. Its a good backround info, close to detective work.

Ross Macdonald has said alot about the originality of Hammett so Archer might simply be a name homage to Maltese Falcon, the pioneer novel for the classic PI hero which Macdonald,Chandler and co is famous for writing.

Personally i rate Lew Archer series as my fav PI series after The OP stories. I dont think Archer is greater character than Spade, Marlowe but i like his stories more than their novels. RM novels are more down to earth,solid PI stories. Not crazy plot twist, not as much wisecracking hero.


message 3: by Michael, Anti-Hero (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 279 comments Mod
No wise cracks or twists is what I thought was lacking in the book I read


message 4: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) Knowledge Lost wrote: "No wise cracks or twists is what I thought was lacking in the book I read"

It depends on what you like and the type of PI hero. I dig Spade and Marlowe type but sometimes they try to be cool, crack jokes too often.


message 5: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh (kurtreichenbaugh) | 102 comments Archer will crack wise occasionally, more often in the older books like The Drowning Pool and Moving Target. I've probably read them all over the years, some more than once. I like the late 50's / early 60's Archer the best as Archer left the private eye mold set before him. That said, he can get a touch preachy in his regard for human vice, but that's a small gripe.


message 6: by Michael, Anti-Hero (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 279 comments Mod
I really enjoyed the short story The Guilty Ones but Black Money I found lacking


message 7: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) Cliff wrote: "The detectives characters in Hammett, Macdonald and Chandler are not fleshed out - they have in common a world-weary, disenchanted outlook, a wise-guy demeanour and an antagonistic attitude toward ..."

You compare characters 70 years after in Bosch to pioneers of the detective school of america that wrote their stories in the papers ?

They were not stereotype in the 30s-50s. The detective become stereotype when everyone copied them.

I agree though Macdonalds plot are sounder.


message 8: by Travis (new)

Travis Seals | 2 comments I've been going on a reread of all the Lew Archer books lately. I Just finished The Ivory Grin. I love the sense of time and place we get from Ross. I feel like he got that part right more than his peers. Something else I always enjoy about his novels are the minor characters that Lew questions or comes into contact with only once for just a few pages. They always pop off the page for me. I'm going to read a few different things before I jump into Find a Victim. My only knock on Ross was they kind of run together, because of that it's not a good idea to read them back to back.


message 9: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 35 comments Has anyone listened to the two MacDonald novels that Harris Yulin and forty Hollywood actors have read? The novels are complete and unabridged and have sound effects and music.Both are excellent!. The two books are "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Zebra Striped Hearse".


message 10: by Ctgt (new)

Ctgt | 110 comments Dennis wrote: "Has anyone listened to the two MacDonald novels that Harris Yulin and forty Hollywood actors have read? The novels are complete and unabridged and have sound effects and music.Both are excellent!...."

Where did you find these?


message 11: by Dennis (new)

Dennis | 35 comments You can google Harris Yulin/Ross Macdonald and find places on line to purchase them or you can go to amazon and use one of their offsite sellers. Just make sure it's the full cast edition published by Audio Partners. I got mine from amazon about 2002.


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