The Ivory Grin Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 1988
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“Macdonald's spare, controlled narration, built for action and speed, conveys the world through which the action moves and gives it meaning, [bringing] scene and character, however swiftly, before the eye without a blur.”—Eudora Welty, The New York Times Book Review"Archer-Macdonald are working together at their peak, piecing together a most modern American tragedy, making literature out of the thriller form, gazing more clearly the ever into the future as it rolls through the smog.” —Newsweek“Ross Macdonald must be ranked high amongst American thriller-writers.”—Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Ross Macdonald's real name was Kenneth Millar. Born near San Francisco in 1915 and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Millar returned to the U.S. as a young man and published his first novel in 1944. He served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America and was awarded their Grand Master Award as well as the Mystery Writers of Great Britain's Silver Dagger Award. He died in 1983. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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If you're afraid that a novel written and first published in 1952 will seem dated, you'll be both right and completely wrong. Of course, the clothes, cars, telephones, and even some of the geography no longer apply, but the motives and deception, the danger and the twists and turns of a first-rate detective novel are timeless. Macdonald carries it all off with a flair and a high sense of style that have kept his novels in print and his readers wishing he could have lived and written forever. When he died in 1983, Macdonald - a pseudonym for Kenneth Millar - left behind what critic William Goldman called "the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American author."
Archer has a dry wit and no overly developed sense of his own importance. His observations of his clients, his surroundings, and the events he becomes part of are smart and wise. In this novel, Archer starts out in his hard-boiled detective office, but spends little time there as he travels between Los Angeles and one of those hot and dusty inland California towns where his clients and the people they're seeking always seem to end up. He runs up against desperate people, motivated by greed and unloosed from whatever moral compass they may have started with long ago in some other existence. He struggles at each point to see who might be on the right side of things, and in almost every case he is disappointed. In The Ivory Grin, there are no heroes, except perhaps Lew Archer himself, and he lays no claim to that title.
Armchair Interviews says, "If you're looking for a detective, a story, and a writer that won't disappoint you, pick up Ross Macdonald's The Ivory Grin--and then prepare to rush out for more."
The Ivory Grin is a remarkable example of detective fiction. Its two greatest strengths are the vividness with which the characters are drawn and the precision with which the multiple plot threads blend together. Highly recommended.
For Archer there are too many loose threads, which unravel to no end. This novel written in 1952 still has the power to enthrall sixty years later. Detective fiction at its classic best.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists WRITING AS A SMALL BUSINESS and HAINTS.