Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye by: Raymond Chandler

I started this on the hot sunny Jersey beach in June. Brought it with me on vacation, read it in the car traveling with my family. Read it poolside at the hotel in Colorado, at the breakfast table drinking coffee and listening to the early morning bluejays feeding on the birdfeeder (in Minnesota), in the park in Chicago and finished it back in my apartment in Jersey. I would not suggest picking it up and putting the book down as much as I did. There were a lot of pages that I had to re-read and prior chapters that I had to refresh my memory on.

The Long Goodbye is an interesting murder mystery book, written in 1930 detective style: "I sat there in a dark bar. The dame across the room caught my eye. She was sitting there. Alone and distraught over something. I ordered a martini--extra dry, two olives--for the lady and another gimlet for myself" This style was kind of fun to read in the beginning, because I would have to narrate the entire story in my head in that detective voice. As the murder mystery went on, I dropped the internal voice to concentrate on the story. But picking the book up so may times, I think some of the little details got lost in translation, my voice, or went on vacation.

The cast of characters grew and the story became predictable. After the second death I had figured it out, but wanted to keep reading to see if I was right. Did others find this predictable? Is the 1973 movie the same as the book?

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