End of story, or what ever happened to plot? (With questions for readers)
Alan Glynn. But I suspect that even Glynn's thrilling chillers are likelier to find their way into book discussions for their larger themes of paranoia and government and corporate control than for the mechanisms by which Glynn tells his stories.) Can you recall the plot of any Stieg Larsson novels? Probably not, but you sure as hell do know who and what Lisbeth Salander is. Character is for serious writers. Plot? Why, that's something for trashy airport best sellers.
Charles Williams; Any Woman He Wanted, by Harry Whittington; and The Galton Case, by Ross MacDonald, whose story is so brilliantly worked out that one can almost overlook Macdonald's wince-making amateur Freudianism and badly dated jabs at suburbs.) In none of the books is plot a mere mechanism to activate the characters. Plot reveals character and is inseparable from it. The books reveal the shallowness of expressions like plot-driven and character-driven.
Those novels appeared more than 50 years ago, and here are your questions: Were the 1950s and early 1960s a high point for plot in hard-boiled writing? If so, when did plot lose its prestige, and why? What are the more brilliantly plotted crime novels you have read?
© Peter Rozovsky 2015