Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Long Goodbye

Author: Raymond Chandler

First line: The first time I ever laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers.

Why you should read this book: In meaty metaphor and knife-sharp prose, Chandler sends his hard boiled private eye, Philip Marlowe, on a convoluted ride through the lifestyle and death throes of the rich and inebriated. Marlowe's casual friendship with harmless-seeming alcoholic goes south when his friend's wealthy wife is found beaten to death. A simple kindness embroils him in a world of angry cops, angrier gangstera, a string of beautiful and occasionally nymphomaniac women, and one millionaire recluse determined to get his way, any of whom may be guilty of murder, but Marlowe, propelled by Chandler's astoundingly rich and precise storytelling, rises time and again to the occasion.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You've ever lost someone terribly dear to you, only to find that they weren't really gone, but had merely become someone you didn't like.

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