Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Raymond Chandler - Farewell My Lovely

Predictably confusing, with razor sharp wit and a plot as seeped in bourbon, cigarette smoke and blood as any other novel staring Chandler's famous detective, this Phillip Marlowe novel is superb.

To talk more would ruin the story - you can get a rough outline of the twists and turns at the relevant Wikipedia entry - though you'd be far better spending a couple of hours reading the whole thing!

As I've argued before, Chandler has some of the best writing of any detective novelist, and this one is no exception. In fact, it has one of the best lines of any book ever, when Marlowe describes seeing a picture of a beautiful blonde woman that might hold the key to the case, he remarks that she is
"A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window"
This quote is apparently available on a t-shirt which just goes to show that nothing is sacred. Though I doubt that cynical old Marlowe would have been that surprised.


Anonymous said...

your intro paragraph on this review is perfect.


Anonymous said...

second that. the connections are endless. chapter 22: "A dirty little man in a dirty little world. One spot of brightness on you and you would still be that" (157). Remind you of any shiny black bugs?