The Doomsters

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The Doomsters
Ross Macdonald - The Doomsters.jpg
First edition
Author Ross Macdonald
Country United States
Language English
Series Lew Archer
Genre Mystery novel
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
ISBN 9-997-51958-2
OCLC 1376657
Preceded by The Barbarous Coast
Followed by The Galton Case

The Doomsters is a 1958 mystery novel written by Ross Macdonald, the seventh book in the Lew Archer series. Many sources agree that this book marked a turning point in the series, wherein Macdonald abandoned his imitations of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and found his own voice. It also marks the fixing of Lew Archer's character as a man more interested in understanding the criminal than in catching him.

The title of the book is taken from the poem To an Unborn Pauper Child by Thomas Hardy. Breathe not, hid Heart: cease silently, And though thy birth-hour beckons thee, Sleep the long sleep: The Doomsters heap; Travails and teens around us here.[1] The poem reflects on the difficulty of escaping the lot to which we are born and this is an underlying theme of MacDonald's book. Writing about the book in The New York Times, the critic Anthony Boucher called the book a study of the strands that shape complexity and doom and, talking about these strands, says it is an analyses at once compassionate and cruel giving dimension and meaning to an unusually well crafted mystery puzzle,.[2]


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  2. ^ Boucher, Anthony (February 23, 1958). "Criminals at large". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 January 2009.