Friday, October 5, 2007

"Farewell, My Lovely" by Raymond Chandler

The move to read the classics continues. Marlowe is a hard-headed detective in this novel of twists and turns, and which cheats just a bit on the plot. I can't see the pivotal picture at the center of the plot twist, but that's okay. It fits the noir category perfectly with most of the action occurring at night or in a seedy environment filled with booze and more cigarette smoke than fog in San Francisco. The element that nothing in life is fair rings true. One thing I did learn was that slang and product placement erode after sixty-seven years to the point of footnotes. Not as bad as reading Shakespeare, but it is something to keep in mind as you contemplate the latest cool word that will disappear from our vocabulary next week. Someone commented that Chandler swept Hammett out of the room. Perhaps. "The Maltese Falcon" was a better story; this was better written. The Marlowe here is better drawn (and slightly more likable) than the Spade in the "Falcon" book, but not the movie. F,ML is a five star lovely book.

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