Pulp Fiction: John D. MacDonald

A Bullet for Cinderella, 1955
in a 1967 Fawcett Gold Medal pocket book edition

This was the first novel i read by John D. MacDonald (1916-1986) one of the masters of crime fiction.
And i loved it and wanted more. Why it took me so long to start reading his books ?

There are a lot of MacDonalds around in the world of crime fiction, i may've confused him with Kenneth
Millar who early on wrote under the the pseudonym John Macdonald and later changed to Ross Macdonald,
yes, the man behind the great Californian PD Lew Archer series and i've read a lot of the Archer books.
But maybe Ross doesn't belong to the hard-boiled pulp fiction genre as Lew Archer is a too nice a guy,
very empathic to be a private detective. There's also yet another MacDonald writing crime fiction in Philip
MacDonald, who wrote the great suspense thriller The List of Adrian Messenger in 1959.

As Ross Macdonald, who started writing just after WW2 just as John D. MacDonald, wrote about southern
California and the changing landscape due to the ruthless exploitation of land by property developers, John D.,
as a background to his plots, became the Master of describing the same exploitation of attractive coastal land
in Florida, the mass-immigration of residents to these for northerners warm and alluring states.
California Ross became an inspiration for Sue Grafton's modern PD books and Florida John D. for the very
much environmentally engaged comedy-crime writer Carl Hiaasen.
John D. MacDonald has got some beautiful descriptions of the Florida nature, the swamps, the beaches and
some passages seem to have inspired an Louisiana author like James Lee Burke and his Dave Robichaux
series, not that strange as JDM is an author for the authors.


Deadly Welcome, 1958

in a 1959 Dell pocket book edition

Another great Florida Noir novel. I think this was my 2nd JDM novel and i was Hooked for sure to his writing.
JDM was a very productive author as so many pulp writers and started writing his numerous short stories just
after the war ended. According to the great site http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/jdm.html he wrote
over 600 short stories in his lifetime including science fiction and about 70 novels.

He's most known for his Travis McGee series where the first in a series of 18 books was published in 1964 and
all have a color of some sort in the titles. I quite like the McGee books but much prefer his other books, and then
especially the ones he wrote between 1950 and the start of Travis McGee in 1964. I try to collect them as they're
intensely readable. Different people and plots in every book, but the background often is Florida.
That's over 40 books, 40 glorious novels and i will chase them down everyone of them. Must Read. Must Read.

On The Run, 1963

in a Swedish Manhattan 1964 edition pocket book

Yes, also John D. MacDonald was published in the Manhattan series, among some others of the greatest crime
writers of the 20th century. Pulp Fiction bought in a kiosk or stall, and called "kiosk-deckare" here in Sweden.
He also wrote Science Fiction as Planet of the Dreamers and Ballroom of the Skies, and has been filmed a lot
of times and i vaguely remember a not to good one with Burt Reynolds as Travis McGee

 

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