Ross MacDonald, The Far Side of the Dollar

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A reader familiar with the conventions of the American hard-boiled detective story is likely to observe that The Far Side of the Dollar is comparatively free of murders and gore. Only two occur in the story, as well as one justifiable homicide (self-defense), one suicide, and a suicide attempt. Moreover, none of the killings is done by the hero, although his weapon is used in the self-defense episode. Anyone familiar with predecessors like Dashiell Hammett’s The Dain Curse, or descendants like James Lee Burke’s many police detective novels set in Louisiana during the post-Vietnam War era will undoubtedly find Macdonald’s work surprisingly non-violent. Yet a close look reveals that the sense of danger, the …

3184 words

Citation: Dougherty, David C.. "The Far Side of the Dollar". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 June 2007 [, accessed 05 June 2023.]

897 The Far Side of the Dollar 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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