I never miss the great blog The Trap of Solid Gold. Steve Scott does a great job charting the life and work of John D. MacDonald. This week he ran a particularly interesting series of quotes from JDM about other writers.
for the rest go here:
THE TRAP OF SOLID GOLD
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011
JDM on Other Writers
"[Dashiell Hammett's] strengths, and they were so considerable as to elevate his work from hack to art, were in persuasive characterizations, deft, understated, graceful transitions, remarkable dialogue and such little touches of reality in description that he could bring a walk-on completely alive in about two sentences."
-- JDM's 1981 review of Shadow Man by Richard Layman, in the Washington Star
"Some of the people I like to read nowadays are Thomas Williams -- some of his titles are Town Burning, The Night of Trees and The Hair of Harold Roux. I like Charles Williams -- Charley's good, particularly his books Scorpion Reef and Aground. And Nabokov -- splendid, except when he gets too fanciful; when he gets too far away from his story line into erudition, he begins to intrude, he begins to spoil his own narrative effect, almost mischievously. I like John Cheever, very much, and Peter DeVries. Let me see now... that fellow who wrote The Spy Who Came in From the Cold -- John LeCarré. And Eric Ambler I like, and John Updike. And James Jones -- he was a plodder, and was predictable, but he has such a vivid and marvelous control of his own ability. He could create a scene that becomes as unforgettable as if you'd seen it yourself.
"[Norman] Mailer is one of my literary heroes not only because of the restless flood of his talent -- at times he has reminded me of a one-man band, snare drum, bass drum, banjo and a harmonica around his neck on a wire brace -- but also because, along with Saul Bellow and John Updike, he keeps on charging ahead just as if the novel were at the center of the contemporary cultural experience instead of that weeny little thing out there at the far edge of literacy."
-- JDM's USA Today review of Mailer's 1983 novel Tough Guys Don't Dance