Friday, June 08, 2012

THE book

Ed here: I ran across a fine Ray Banks assessments of his top ten police procedural writers on The Crime Factory (on older post). I read into the comments and came across this one. Much the same was always said about John D. MacDonald. That he never wrote THE book. How do you feel about this notion?

Dan Downing says:

All great picks; Kent Anderson is always a pleasant name to see. Wish he wrote more, understand why not.
I think McBain never got the recognition some other writers received because he had other persona. When “Blackboard Jungle” became required high school reading for at least a generation a mark was set. In writing his other books—and he had at least a half dozen pen names besides those mentioned here—I believe he tended to his craft, telling good stories well, filled with meaty characters, but he was not the kind of writer who took a book, wrote it, took it apart, re-wrote it, polished the prose, and so forth—not a Flaubert. He never took those extra steps most writers need to take to make, as pointed out—THE BOOK. Aside, of course, from Blackboard Jungle, which came early and maybe received a bit of TLC, but was Evan Hunter.

1 comment:

D.A. Trappert said...

I haven't read all of his books yet, but I have read enough to think that some of his early, non-Travis McGee books come pretty close to being THE BOOK. Specifically, THE DAMNED, DEAD LOW TIDE, and THE END OF THE NIGHT.