Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The kids I babysat last night behaved less like hyperactive monkeys than usual, so I had time to finish The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler. In this one, Philip Marlowe gets involved in the world of Hollywood when he tries to find the brother of the titular character. There was such a sense of weariness with Los Angeles, and Hollywood in particular, in this book. "Real cities have something else, some individual bony structure under the muck. Los Angeles has Hollywood - and hates it. It ought to consider itself damn lucky. Without Hollywood it would be a mail-order city. Everything in the catalogue you could get better somewhere else." The city is as much a character in this book as Marlowe himself and they become inseparable in the reader's mind. When Marlowe reminisces about the simpler, earlier Los Angeles, he is also mourning his own loss of innocence.

Anyway. I discovered that the beginning of James Crumley's The Wrong Case is nearly identical to this book's. I'm assuming it was an homage, although if I'd read this one first, it probably would've pissed me off.

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