Book Review: Judge Me Not by John D. MacDonald (1951)

I bought this book from my aunt at our semiannual yard sale, and I insisted upon paying her the whole blooming quarter because I don’t want to have her come begging from money from us when Social Security collapses. Also, I like John D. MacDonald.

I have to admit that this is the most exciting tale of a City Manager I’ve ever read. Of course, the city manager and his assistant are going to rid a small town of the syndicate, which this book charmingly misspells as maffia because it was written before the Godfather came out. The Maffia don’t want to go cleanly, and before the 160 pages elapse, murder, kidnaping, and other various mayhem erupts. Also, there’s a fair amount of sex.

I grew up on these potboilers, or at least kettlewhistlers, and I’ve forgotten how much fun they are to read (and they’re very instructive, too; for example, one can learn a lot about how to treat members of the opposite sex, particularly women of the night with hearts of gold). So I ventured to Downtown Books this weekend and bought a couple more.

I wonder if John D. MacDonald, churning several paperback originals a year throughout the 1950s and 1960s, could imagine how well his books would hold up so that some punk kid in the 21st century would read them and find inspiration.

I bet he didn’t.

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