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The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, Playback (Everyman's Library)

av Raymond Chandler

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1993134,483 (4.37)Ingen/inga
In this collection of Chandler's four later novels, "The Lady in the Lake" follows Marlowe out of his natural habitat, into the mountains of L.A. and deep into trouble. In "The Little Sister, " he uncovers a little blackmail, a lot of drugs, and more murder. In "The Long Goodbye, " a war-scarred drunk, his nymphomaniac wife, and Marlowe are on the run from a psychotic gangster. In "Playback, " there is a well-endowed redhead, murder and, of course, Marlowe.… (mer)
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Visar 3 av 3
Very readable

The last few years, I've gotten hooked on Perry Mason reruns on TV, despite their often mediocre plots and their apparently mandatory goofy closing scenes. I guess it is the show's "atmosphere" that I like. I was hoping to find something to read that had that same sort of feeling and that was well-written, and I decided to give Raymond Chandler's novels a try. He wrote about crime in early modern L.A., and critics seemed to revere his writing style, so I thought these were good candidates. Also, I was hoping that they were written long enough ago that things were kept on a PG level, something that practically no fiction written nowadays can seem to manage.

I started reading his novels chronologically 3 months ago (in the other Everyman's volume), and I finished the last one (in this volume) last night. These books are definitely page-turners, and it was hard to let a completed novel sink in for a day or two before beginning the next one. Would I recommend them to others? Well, not unreservedly, but I don't feel that the time I spent reading them was wasted.

I'm an Austen/Dickens fan, and (if a cross-genre comparison isn't simply absurd) I can't put the quality of Chandler's writing in their class, but he does have an interesting spare style. There are times that the wise-cracking dialogue does come close to self-parody: In _The Big Sleep_ when Marlowe says that someone was talking like he walked out of a gangster movie, I couldn't see much difference between the way that character talked and the way everyone else in the book did.

For the most part, my hope for some PG reads was satisfied, although there is a clear drift towards more explicitness as one moves from the early books to the late ones. (That's at least part of why I liked the early ones more.)

If Chandler's characters didn't smoke or drink, his books would be about 25% shorter. Are there any children anywhere in the Southland that Marlowe describes? Not that I can remember. The absence of basic human affection was pretty hard for a Dickens fan to take. Marlowe seems to see women as objects to make passes at, to make out with (in the early novels), to bed (in the later ones), and, oh yes, to tolerate as clients. And on the last page of _Playback_ when Chandler does make an attempt to move Marlowe into a lasting relationship, it just rings false.

On Perry Mason, you can get a pretty good idea who's going to get murdered before the murder occurs, because it has to be a somewhat unlikeable character. On a lot of other mystery shows, murder is rarely treated as tragic, more as a fun opportunity to solve a good puzzle. At least in Chandler's novels, even though the victims are often unsavory characters, you get a sense that murder is serious--that, as Eastwood said, when you kill a man you "take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have". ( )
  cpg | Oct 14, 2017 |
Chandler writes with a wit that no one else will ever surpass. The long goodbye is my favourite here, though they are all entertaining. ( )
  MissBHaven | Apr 4, 2010 |
Raymond Chandler is a favorite author; certainly one of the foremost prose stylists of the English language. ( )
  IreneF | Sep 16, 2008 |
Visar 3 av 3
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In this collection of Chandler's four later novels, "The Lady in the Lake" follows Marlowe out of his natural habitat, into the mountains of L.A. and deep into trouble. In "The Little Sister, " he uncovers a little blackmail, a lot of drugs, and more murder. In "The Long Goodbye, " a war-scarred drunk, his nymphomaniac wife, and Marlowe are on the run from a psychotic gangster. In "Playback, " there is a well-endowed redhead, murder and, of course, Marlowe.

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