He started with the stoner lit, Heinlein, Tolkien, Herman Hesse and the like, and moved on to mystery and pulp. He became infatuated with the Travis McGee books by John D. MacDonald, though even at the age of nineteen he recognized them as the ultimate male fantasy, writ large. No job, no family ties, life on a houseboat, the freedom to kill your enemies, the convenient death of lovers, allowing you to move on to the next Playboy-quality piece of ass … but the writing was clean and addictive.
Aus The Turnaround von George P. Pelecanos. Es handelt sich um die Reviewer-Copy, ich hoffe den „Herman“ haben sie noch korrigiert.
Ansonsten eine sehr interessante Zusammenstellung, die ich so noch nie gehört habe: Heinlein, Tolkien, Herman Hesse, John D. MacDonald. Ich kannte früher einige begeisterte Hesseleser (jenseits der 30, geschweige 40, liest das ja keiner mehr), aber kaum welche die Heinlein oder gar John D. MacDonald gelesen haben.
Die Beschreibung MacDonalds ist eine pointierte Variation eines alten Beitrags Pelecanos bei Rara Avis aus dem April 2001:
Commercially speaking, there has never been a smarter creation than Travis McGee. He is the embodiment of male wish-fulfillment. No nine-to-five job, lives by his own set of rules, resides on a houseboat, drinks but is not a drunk, tall, handsome, good with his fists but not a bully, etc. All of the women McGee sleeps with are built like centerfolds, and, more importantly, most of them conveniently kick before that bothersome issue of commitment comes to the forefront (one mystery store in New York actually has an annual Travis McGee Always the Bridesmaid Never the Bride Award in honor of the latest murdered female companion to a male series character). So McGee is the man we–okay, most of us–would like to see when we look in the mirror. And, yeah, I love the books. I even named my old dog, Travis, after McGee. And that dog was a bitch.
One more thing: the McGee books are early 60s timepieces (the hero’s Hefner-like, paternal attitude towards women) in the same way that Spillane’s books represent a certain kind of attitude (paranoid, racist, homophobic) from the 50s. Think of them on one hand as social records, and try not to judge them from the perspective of our more „enlightened“ present. When a modern writer tries to approximate that attitude in a period book (for the sake of his own street-cred or to maintain a rep of cool) is when the issue becomes more complicated and problematic.
Der zweite Absatz ist natürlich zutiefst wahr. Sowohl was den Wechsel von Spillane to MacDonald betrifft, als auch der (triviale) Aufruf ältere Bücher nicht mit unseren Vorstellungen zu bewerten.