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Ross MacDonald
 

Ross MacDonald Books

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Ross MacDonald (Dec. 13, 1915 - July 11, 1983), was the pseudonym of writer Kenneth Millar, married to fellow author Margaret Millar. His Lew Archer series, which includes The Moving Target (made into the movie Harper starring Paul Newman), The Barbarous Coast, The Drowning Pool and The Far Side of a Dollar, stands as one of the pivotal achievements of modern crime fiction.

Macdonald explores the mean streets of California much as Chandler did before him. The pervasive sense of disillusionment, clear-eyed realism, and uncommonly fine prose have made Macdonald a regular on both best-seller and college reading lists.

Please discuss his work below.



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jbmarco - 01:28pm Oct 2, 1999 PST(#9 of 19)

i'm currently reading a bio of ross macdonald.. june 2 was also kenneth millar's anniversary.. archer was a gemini, but millar was a sagitarius (The Archer!)..kind of neat,eh?


Bob Banks - 08:44pm Feb 3, 2000 PST(#10 of 19)

Well, I'm sorry to have come to this page so lately. It seems to have run out of steam. I became a Ross Macdonald fan in the mid-'60s after I saw the movie "Harper" and read the book on which it was based, "The Moving Target." Over the next few years, I read all of the Lew Archer novels (as well as "The Ferguson Affair") that were then in print and a stayed current with each new publication. When Macdonald became silent after the publication of "The Blue Hammer," it left me with a palpable void. When he died in 1983, I learned that he had been suffering with Alzheimers for many years. I then reread some of the Archer stories and managed to get hold of read his earlier books. Still, I've missed him greatly.

Last summer, when I finally learned to surf the net, I found the January magazine articles referred to above and they brought back wonderful memories to me, while filling me new information about this wonderful man, whose real name was Kenneth Millar (pronounced Miller). I also read the biography written by Tom Noland (like Millar, a Canadian)that came out last March. For anyone who is a fan of Ross Macdonald, it is a must. I've read a lot of biographies of authors and it is one of the best. Noland is a good writer, but is a particularly thorough researcher. The book is filled with compelling information about Millar's youth and his family. I've left my name with almost all the used bookstores in town and am collecting all the copies of his books that I can find so that I always have extras to pass on to friends. I am now looking forward to rereading - no studying - the works of Millar/Macdonald.

In my judgment, I've not read any writer of mystery or detective fiction who is Macdonald's artistic equal. His rhetorical skill alone is sufficient to make him exceptional. I really don't know of many of the more critically acclaimed novelists in other fields that are in his class.

I hope all of you who have posted comments about Macdonald are still readers of him.


Jackie C. - 07:44pm Feb 8, 2001 PST(#11 of 19)

Bob, I was influenced by your enthusiasm for Ross MacDonald's work, and visited the local used bookstore, and came away with six titles!

I began with The Drowning Pool - and couldn't put it down. Somehow, I don't imagine Lew Archer looking like Paul Newman in my head. He's an enigma, and I look forward to learning more about this cool detective.


Bob Banks - 04:58pm Feb 20, 2001 PST(#12 of 19)

Thanks Jackie. I guess this discussion has pretty much died out. Like me, the others who posted here seem to have forgotten about the page. Or perhaps they've lost interest in the topic.


Jackie C. - 05:22pm Feb 20, 2001 PST(#13 of 19)

It's typical...I join a dead discussion! Oh well, I'm enjoying the discovery of this author. I bought all the titles available at the used book store I frequent - they're a terrific buy at $2.00 per book. The owner asked me, "Do you like MacDonald? I can get more titles from my other store in Hamilton." I told him I'd buy what he had, and last weekend I picked up "Trouble Follows Me", "The Instant Enemy" "The Far Side of the Dollar" and "The Underground Man"

My library is growing, eh?


Bob Schneider - 11:13am Jul 19, 2001 PST(#14 of 19)

Just want to mention that Crippen & Landru has published "Strangers in Town", a collection of RM short stories some of which were never previously published for a variety of reasons. The editor is Tom Nolan. He is a Macdonald biographer so he provides a great introduction to the book.


Jackie C - 08:09pm Sep 2, 2001 PST(#15 of 19)

Thanks Bob for the tip - I've checked this title and it's available through Amazon.com.

The reviews for this collection of "lost stories" got good reviews and I am looking forward to reading it!


Fran Hinkel - 05:41am Oct 4, 2001 PST(#16 of 19)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

This title is also available through our sponsor, Barnes and Noble. Clicking on our sponsors helps us to stay here for your enjoyment. Please, whenever possible, order your books through our site by putting your title in the search box in the ad for Barnes & Noble. Much Thanks!


Rick Cornfeld - 01:12pm Jun 7, 2003 PST(#17 of 19)

Donald Westlake was once asked what he thought about Ross Macdonald and said something like, "He must use a lot of carbon paper" or "He must have excellent carbon paper." (It is an unfair comment, I know.) Can anyone provide an exact reference to where he said it? Thanks!


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