Sunday, December 16, 2007

Raymond Chandler breaks my heart...

This post probably belongs on the lending library blog but I'm too lazy to stop now that I've started and this is, after all, a short one. Namely a plea that anyone who hasn't read Raymnd Chandler or who thinks that noir is outdated and that most quintessential of hard-boiled private investigators Philip Marlowe has become a caricature should think again and get thee to a bookstore or library.

Amazingly funny, so cleverly paced you don't even notice you've been reading for two hours and sometimes hardbreaking Chandler is, quite simply, required reading for anyone who has an interest in... you know, anything. I'll leave you with the opening lines to The Long Goodbye and the warning that there will be a quiz on RC next time I see each of you - so read up:
"The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers. The parking lot attendant had brought the car out and he was still holding the door open because Terry Lennox's left foot was still dangling outside, as if he had forgotten he had one. He had a young face but his hair was bone white. You could tell by his eyes that he was plastered to the hairline, but otherwise he looked like any other nice young guy in a dinner jacket who had been spending too much money in a joint that exists for that purpose and no other." (The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler)

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I just started reading Chandler. I've only read the first few chapters of "The Big Sleep", but already I am a huge fan. His writing is surprisingly vivid, yet concise. He is witty enough to make me laugh at Marlowe's quips. I haven't been this impressed with a writer since I started reading voltaire.

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