I recently saw the Robert Mitchum film version (1975) of Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely (1940), and realized that I hadn't read the novel yet. So, since I was planning on visiting Los Angeles, I thought it would be ideal background reading for the trip. The movie followed the plot of the book pretty closely, but that's OK. Because the thing that makes a Chandler novel most enjoyable is the dialogue and narration style of Philip Marlowe. He's such a wisecracking tough talking hardboiled archetype:
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”
“She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.”
“The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on.”
“She’s a nice girl. Not my type.” “You don’t like them nice?” He had another cigarette going. The smoke was being fanned away from his face by his hand. “I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin.” “They take you to the cleaners,” Randall said indifferently.”
That's just a sample of Chandler's excellent style, the noirish plot line adds to the enjoyment of course. Anyway, I deiced that this year I'll finish the rest of the Marlowe books that I haven't read. I've got some good reading ahead of me.