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Why Ross is out of favour
Posted February 4, 2009

I've had the mixed blessing of reading a late Ross MacDonald mystery THE GOODBYE LOOK.

It has all the trademark touches . . . a plot so complicated there should be a chart, beautiful metaphors interspersed with descriptive writing that's occasionally a stretch, plot lines and relationships that go back and back and back.

While Ross MacDonald has recently been reprinted, for a time, his books were out of print, whereas most of John D. MacDonald's have remained in print.

Sure John D. is a lighter writer, and Travis McGee is a character closer to the sensibilities of the 21st century than Ross's Lew Archer.

But I think Ross's writing has also suffered because of the ongoing shift in how we view psychiatry.

There seems to be much of Freud in John D, a little too much for our time.

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