Literary Lions Lost

It was a hard weekend in the book world. Two of its most respected and revered authors turned the last page.

Award-winning crime novelist, George Mcdonald, passed away Sunday. Mcdonald is the creator of the Edgar worthy Fletch novels which also made the successful leap to the movie screen. Mcdonald honed his appreciation for cynical and witty characters and outrageous situations at the Boston Globe as a reporter and editor. He took these experiences and crafted one of the first comic-mysteries with Fletch, an educated beach bum with a snappy comeback and reckless nature. These books are still popular with readers who are fans of the sardonic tarnished detective-knight who carefully guards the small piece of gold buried in his heart.

A master of experimental fiction, David Foster Wallace, committed suicide Friday night. Wallace accumulated a cult following for his darkly comic and innovative novels and short stories. His first novel, Broom of the System, grew out of his senior thesis. Wallace is best known for his expansive, thought-provoking and occasionally frustrating novel, Infinite Jest.

Oh, sure, there’ll always be another wise-acre detective and some fresh kid pushing the boundaries of fiction, but it won’t be the same without Mcdonald and Wallace, whose influence will live on.