Of all the authors that I admire, John D. MacDonald is the one I would have liked to have a meal with most. He had a wisdom about man's motivations that few authors can rival. That wisdom really comes across in this novel.The situation at the heart of this story is a delayed river crossing. The delay forces an assortment of characters into a confined area. The result is a riveting tale that touches on love, maturity, loyalty, degradation and derangement. There's sex, murder, betrayal and malice. [...]
A number of prominent writers for the past 40 years, including Walter Mosley, Stephen King, Dean Koontz. Jonathan Kellerman and Sue Grafton, have cited Mr. MacDonald as a major influence on their work. While Mr. MacDonald’s genre was largely mystery, “The Damned” (1952) is a bit different. It is set at a ferry crossing from Mexico into Texas, with a several-hour delay. A number of Americans are waiting on the Mexico side, each with a different back-story and different ways of dealing with [...]
Where have I been that I haven't been reading MacDonald? He's like the best of Jim Thompson and Patricia Highsmith all rolled up into one. No, I take that back. He's better than even that. If you haven't read him, then stop what you are doing and read him NOW!
Excellent and peculiar. About a handful of people who get stuck at a ferry crossing near the Mexican/American border, and the misfortunes which befall them. I picked up one of MacDonald's at some point earlier, something which was a bit more straight detective-y and I liked it but didn't love it. This was much better. The writing is really on point, each of the different characters feels well-realized (mostly; in keeping with the noir tradition the assholes and villains are better drawn than the [...]
This John D. MacDonald novel, written in 1952, was his fifth non-SF novel since his debut with The Brass Cupcake (1950). A Mexican river crossing and disparate characters thrown together by a disrupted ferry service interact under stresses both internal and externalE HEAT HIT THEM ALL . . e scorching heat of Mexico, and it ate at their nerves. The stalled ferry held them in the heat until they could stand no more. The honeymooners fought, and loved and fought again. The pretty little tramp clawe [...]
The tradition of strangers meeting on the road is as old as the Canterbury Tales, and this literary genre is given a South of the Border slant as a group of strangers meet at a ferry crossing in Mexico, where the crossing is slowed by a bureaucratic glitch. Steinbeck used the same literary conceit in THE WAYWARD BUS, and MacDonald uses it to showcase his strengths as a writer. In his non-Travis McGee novels, MacDonald was incredibly adept at characterization based conflict, and this novel showca [...]
Close to perfect. The story takes place in the 1950s over maybe a fifteen hour period at a stalled ferry crossing at a small town in Mexico near Matamoros. An unbelievably interesting cast of characters are thrown together, along with a few plot sparks to ignite a delicious series of conflicts among them. MacDonald paints the inner thoughts and experiences and essences of the characters in a way that is fascinating and utterly compelling. This is the first book by MacDonald for me, and if his lo [...]
I'll transparently admit that John D. MacDonald is not only one of my favorite crime writers, but one of my favorite writers, period. His voice, prose style, and regular authorial interjections, which many readers seem to really dislike, are what set him apart from the pack for me: he's smart, observant, has fascinating insights into human nature, and can really tell a story too. While I'm close to the end of my slow in-order read of the "Travis McGee" series, I'm comforted to know that I still [...]
Well, I have to say this was a nice surprise. The Damned may be one of the only books I've bought based solely on reviews read on . I usually come to this site AFTER I've finished a book, I don't use it as a guide for what to buy. But lately I've been trying to read books I should have read in high school or college and/or authors I've never heard of but probably should have. John D MacDonald is one such author. Never heard of him. Had I seen just the cover of this book, combined with the dramat [...]
#61 from macdonald for me. i've only been disappointed with one of the 61. my guess is that i will enjoy this one, too.26 nov 15finished. good story. macdonald's story-line here is interesting, multiple character p.o.v. and in the telling, the cycle of events is repeated a number of times, witnessed by the many characters herein. this happensoften. story also reminds me of another from macdonald, the bus ride story. can't think of the title and perhaps i spend some time looking for it, a note to [...]
The guy could write He had sensitivity towards Mexican and women and the men in this book were mainly weak, greedy, stupid or vain. His prose shines though and he is not the run of the mill thriller writer.Various carloads of Americans are stuck on the side of a river waiting for a ferry crossing. The ferry is to big for the low flowing river so the time to cross is in the order of hours. In these hours various lives are changed and we see a variety of emotions coming through from a cast of fasc [...]
They all had secrets and fears and dreams, and they all were stuck like flies in amber under the blazing Mexican sun while uninspired laborers dug up mud so the damned new ferry -- way too big for the Rios Conchos -- could get close enough to the bank to take on more cars.They were mostly strangers to one another, but they mingled there on a long hot day -- and they fought, and lied to one another, and fell in love, and spilled secrets and blood.This is not really a mystery novel -- we always kn [...]
Probably the most interesting MacDonald book I've read to date. Excellent allegorical novel about the lives of several groups of Americans whose lives are changed dramatically while waiting for a ferry across a Mexican river that has been delayed by the fact that, although brand new, it is actually too large for the small river it services.