Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ross Macdonald

My good friend Bill Crider reminds us that it's Ross Macdonald's birthday.

I certainly salute the man under his pen name Ross Macdonald and his real name Ken Millar. In fact I'll go as far to say that Millar and his wife Margaret Millar were the two best crime writers of their generation. For me nobody brought true novelistic talents to the private eye novel that Ken did--nor true novelistic talents to the traditional crime novel that Margaret did.

This would be a good time to choose their finest novels for rereading. For me that would be The Chill and The Way Some People Die by Ken and How Like An Angel and A Stranger In My Grave by Margaret.

It's also time to reread Tom Nolan's superb biography of Ken.

Thanks for reminding us, Bill.


mybillcrider said...

You're quite welcome, and I agree with your comments, right down to the rereading.

Dave Zeltserman said...

I don't know, Ed. I'd have to say the two best crime writers of Macdonald's generation would have to be Willeford and Spillane, with Spillane being by far the most influential.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I'm going to side with Mr. Gorman on this one: Macdonald was the best detective writer of his generation, though I agree that Spillane was more influential for a time. (I think Macdonald has had a longer-term impact.) And to the list of favorite Macdonald books, I would add THE UNDERGROUND MAN, THE DOOMSTERS, and perhaps THE INSTANT ENEMY. All emotional, insightful works.