Friday, August 31, 2012
Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye was a very enjoyable book. Looking through my blog you'll notice better reviews for newer books. Like old movies, old books tend to be a bit slower and less exciting then newer books. This book is from the 50's. It's in the classic style of L.A. detective stories. You know, the ones with 'private eyes' who drink a lot and fight a lot. Chandler had a number of books that feature the main character of this book: Philip Marlowe. He is cool and a bit of a bad ass.
I think what I truly liked about the book at the start was the shortness of the sentences. It seems to make everything a bit more important. It was like a watching a movie with every line being a quick back and forth between two characters. Unfortunately, I found it got a bit annoying as the book went on (not sure if it's annoyed you yet in reading this blog... uh oh, sentence too long).
There are still very redeeming elements of this book, which is why it got 4 stars. First, it's just cool. Like I said, cool prose, interesting main character, a total 'guys' book. Second, it's a pretty riveting story. Although it does get slow form time to time, there is a lot of murder, violence, drinking, cops and 'bad guys'; overall good stuff. Third, you knew that it was building up for some kind of surprise ending but I couldn't figure it out for sure until the end. It was a good ending.
Overall, I had never heard of Chandler or this book but really enjoyed reading it. I would suggest it for most readers. Even if you don't like this type of subject (e.g. L.A. copy story like), it's a good story and a cool genre to at least read once. Plus, you get to read, think, and maybe write in short sentences for a while. Like this. Or this.