Farewell, My LovelyRaymond Chandler
Almost from the first, it's the language that snags you, like some mug at a party who won’t let go of your lapels. Here's private eye Philip Marlowe describing Moose Malloy, who is looking for a lost love, "He was a big man but not more than six feet five inches tall and not wider than a beer truck." And this great line, "[H]e looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food." Of course, this novel is more than a collection of unforgettable lines. It was Chandler's gift to capture hardboiled America, roughened by a depression and a world war. How could a novel about murder, thievery, and deceit inspire? It’s because of the lucid voice of Marlowe, whose romantic notions about getting to the bottom of things, whether he is paid or not, inspire better things in us.