Farewell, My Lovely – Raymond Chandler

September 2, 2011

Near the end of Farewell, My Lovely, a beautiful woman gazes up at Chandler’s legendary shamus, Phillip Marlowe, and says:

“’You’re so marvellous… So brave, so determined, and you work for so little money.  Everybody bats you over the head and chokes you and smacks your jaw and fills you with morphine, but you just keep right on hitting between tackle and end until they’re all worn out.  What makes you so wonderful?’”

It’s a question that you could ask not only about the prototypical hard-boiled detective, but about the author himself.  What is it that elevates both the character and the writer into a league of their own? Read the rest of this entry »


The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler

August 10, 2010

Review by Gabriel

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

There’s a famous story that, during filming for the 1946 film adaptation of The Big Sleep, the director and screen writers couldn’t figure out if one of the characters in the novel had committed suicide or been murdered, so they contacted the novel’s author, Raymond Chandler, to seek clarification.  It was only at this point – seven years after the novel had been published – that Chandler realised that he didn’t know the answer.  The plot was so convoluted that even its author had trouble keeping up with it.

But The Big Sleep railroads over any faults with sheer style, thanks to its ultra-cool protagonist, colourful characters, sense of place and humour.  A warning though – because everyone has things that they can’t forgive – it’s also one of the more misogynistic books you’ll read. Read the rest of this entry »