Sunday, June 14, 2009

A little detective fiction for fun...

I'm enjoying the summer. No courses, no homework, no studying, no tests, no worries. I've been spending my free time reading. First it was Mary Higgins Clark's "Where are the Children" which was her first novel. I thought it was good, but not great. Then there's Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye" written in 1953. Now it's taken me two weeks to read it cause I'm hitting it about 5-6 pages at a time. The main character is Philip Marlowe, private eye. I listen to the old time radio versions of Philip Marlowe so I appreciate the character. In fact, because I am so well-versed with old time radio detective shows, these books are easy reads for me. I know the language. Nothing compares to how these actors delivered their lines...

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-looking 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 for no other.

There was a girl beside him. Her hair was a lovely shade of dark red and she had a distant smile on her lips and over her shoulders she had a blue mink that almost made the Rolls-Royce look like just another automobile. It didn't quite. Nothing can.

That's the opening of Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye". Shows like Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Boston Blackie, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar---the actors were classic and the lines just flowed. There's nothing like these mystery/detective/suspense fiction of the 1940's and 50's.

Now if I can finish this book, I can begin the next!

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