Thursday, November 17, 2005

Some Simple Art of Chandler's

I have just received tonight a gift of the great Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye [1953].

The only other Philip Marlowe novel I have read is the first, The Big Sleep [1939]. It began better in my opinion, but chapters 4 and 5 of Goodbye are getting interesting. Heck, it's been interesting from page one, just feels a bit rushed in pace, perhaps.

Also, I generally read works in some chronological order. I am, for example, systematically making my way through all of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin fiction by date of original publication. So, this jump of three or four books and 14 years in the life of the greatest hard-boiled eye perturbs me slightly. But whatever. This one came to me, and I shall read it.

The edition is quite nice. Not an original, but a very adequate hardcover by Reader's Digest, year 2005. Who would have expected this brand-new volume to turn up at a library book sale for $0.75? O.K, yeah, the insipid metallic green embossed on the cover irks me, as does the fact that every chapter opens with the silhouettes of palm trees. But hey, this binding is quality. It's a really beautiful printing, man.

Of course, I currently have a dozen or so book being slowly read through... but thanks to the effortlessness of reading Chandler's marvelous prose (something he crafted not so effortlessly) I expect to have this one completed virtually instantaneously. The others can wait a day or two, right?

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