Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Barbarous Coast, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Barbarous Coast
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County (VA) Public Library (audiobook)
  • Started: 8/7/2016
  • Finished: 8/10/2016
After finishing the last Lew Archer book "The Ivory Grin" I skipped the next one in line ("Find a Victim") as I have read that book several times, and hated it each time.  Find a Victim is my least favorite of the Archer novels.

The Barbarous Coast was pretty good.  Not the best Archer by far, but enjoyable overall.  The biggest issue is the number of times Archer is knocked out.  I think it happens three times in the same day in one scene.  I don't mind being asked to put aside reality for a while, but beaned in the head three times in the same day with fists, gun butt, and sap?  You'd be lucky to wake up, and if you did -- probably not speaking normally again.

The write up of Malibu in the post-war period is pretty good though.  And I love the end where bad guy tries to get Archer to take $100,000 to not blow the cover off the murders.  I'm paraphrasing here but the bad guy says something like "don't you want the money?" and Archer replies "oh I want it alright.  But if I take the money I have a feeling the I wouldn't own it, it would own me."

I would love to know what MacDonald was like to talk to in person.  I guess I could read the recently published letters between MacDonald and Eudora Welty.

Next book up is "The Doomsters" which is not available to me as an audiobook, so I bought a used copy (part of a collection called "Archer in Jeopardy" which includes two other novels I can't get as an audiobook).  I also purchased a collection (used) of all Archer short stories.  

2016, the year of Lew Archer.

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