Monday, January 26, 2009
The Moving Target
I usually don't like to read multiple books by the same author in a row. I like to vary things up a little bit. But after reading The Drowning Pool I tried to pick up Anna Karenina and that didn't go so well. (After reading the first 15 pages, I extrapolated the amount of time it would take to finish the book and got scared.) So I turned back to Macdonald and his creation, Lew Archer.
I'll keep this short because I've already written on what I think of Macdonald. This is the first Archer novel and it is very much in line with the others, however it was interesting in that you could see some of the rough edges, some of the things Macdonald would improve upon in later stories. The writing and plotting are more derivative of Chandler, and there is a larger, more ungainly cast of characters, many of whom are largely unneeded. And Archer is almost comically incautious and unprepared, to an almost farcical extent. (I believe in this one novel he was concussed more often than either Steve Young or Troy Aikman ever were.)
However, I did like the rollicking pace of this novel and the solutions (there's never just one) are intriguing, unconventional, and a satisfactory pay-off for two-days' reading.
I liked this just a little bit more than The Drowning Pool, so I'll give it a 7.2 out of 10.