in print
The Critics on Maclaren-Ross
‘One of our very best writers.’ (John Betjeman)
‘Maclaren-Ross is one of the great unsung heroes of the 1940s and at his best a figure to rank with Orwell, Waugh and Connolly.’ (D.J. Taylor)
‘A dazzing, talented writer, effortlessly funny and natural…’ (Philip Hensher)
‘I have followed Mr Maclaren-Ross’s work since the first publication of a sketch of military life which I read in Horizon. I thought it showed genuine literary promise and accomplishment of a rare kind.’ (Evelyn Waugh)
‘I first came across the film writings of J. Maclaren-Ross as a schoolboy in the post-war years and regard him as one of the most original and perceptive film critics this country has produced. He's in the class of Graham Greene, whose Spectator review of Marked Woman he famously corrected to Greene's amusement. His 1946 essay on Hitchcock, for instance, was a decade or more ahead of its time. Sadly he never had a regular platform, but we should cherish the essays he wrote and are here retrieved from oblivion.’ (Philip French , Film Critic of The Observer)
‘In the days when the world of contemporary letters was represented almost entirely by Penguin New Writing and an odd copy of Horizon I had read his acerbic, brittle, funny stories… [Their] technique was so spare and unerring as to constitute, in however small a way, almost a new kind of writing.’ (Anthony Cronin)
‘His friend and mentor, Graham Greene, once told me that he thought Maclaren-Ross possessed a touch of genius.’ (André Deutsch )
‘Mr J. Maclaren-Ross is an author of outstanding gifts… His sense of human comedy in our age is ruthless and bitter and he is continually achieving effects on the border of the tragic.’ (John Lehmann)
‘One of the very best writers of the twentieth-century.’ (Virginia Ironside)
‘A writer due for the front rank... Better, and more dire pictures of the bohemian extremity — in pubs and the Soho purlieus, in dun-beleaguered bungalows along half-made roads, in and out of bookshops and under the duress of the army — are not, I should imagine, to be found.’ (Elizabeth Bowen)
‘He has a talent of a rare and original kind.’ (Olivia Manning)
‘A wonderfully stylish and sardonic writer.’ (Peter Parker, author of Isherwood: A Life)
‘Maclaren-Ross is the master of the story which seems like a slice of life.’ (Allan Massie)