Text Box: The books of Russell H. Greenan

The details “grisly”, the people “lunatic”, the results, “magnetic”.

Text Box: Viewpoint
It Happened in Boston?

“First Novelists” 
Library Journal
Oct 1, 1968

My first novel, It Happened in Boston?, is an attempt to utilize the most arresting elements of story telling without, in any way, renouncing the presentation of serious ideas. I have never believed that a good plot conflicts with character development, nor that a suspense tale need be shallow and schoolboyish. It can be as didactic as any other form of writing—more so, perhaps, since it is designed to hold the reader’s attention. And there is ample room for humor, for sensitivity and for grace.

             It may be that, somewhere back in the 1930s (I’m 43 now, which is a little old for a rookie), I saw one too many cliffhanger movie serials or read one too many Street and Smith detective stories, but I simply can not disassociate story telling from fiction writing. There must be movement—from a beginning, through a middle and to an end, though not necessarily in that order . There must be mystery, suspense, a climax and a denoument. All of us, I believe, expect this when we pick up a novel. Few of us honestly enjoy the cryptanalysis demanded of us by some of the recondite authors of today. Incomprehensibility, after all, is not really erudite and profound—and it certainly isn’t diverting.

             [My novel] then, is meant to be read for pleasure. There is meat in it for the lovers of excitement, drink for those who wish to shed a tear or two, a crisp salad for the humor hunters and even a basket of pumpernickel for the philosophers. I trust no reader will leave my table hungry.