Monday, October 24, 2011

"It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stainedglass window." — Raymond Chandler

Los Angeles, 1949 (from: We Had Faces Then)
"Farewell, My Lovely was published in 1940 by Raymond Chandler, the virtual inventor of the hard-boiled private detective.  It’s the second novel he wrote, and features the iconic detective Philip Marlowe.  Marlowe is not a very nice person sometimes (and one wouldn’t expect him to be, given the kind of people he has to deal with) but he’s honest, and strong, and brave to the point of foolishness.  That’s what we want in a private eye, anyway, right?
     [...] Even though Chandler finally pieces the puzzle together in a highly satisfactory way, one doesn’t read him merely for the story itself. His method of storytelling, along with his turns of phrase and imagery are as equally compelling as the plot itself."— TIME ENOUGH AT LAST

For a history of Los Angeles (and California), check out this series by Kevin Starr: Americans and the California Dream, which includes the previously published Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915, and Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era. The next installment is The Dream Endures: California through the Great Depression. From Oxford University Press

Get books by Raymond Chandler and Kevin Starr here...

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