Friday, January 25, 2013

Killer in the rain!

I’ve just finished my second book of the year, but in fairness I had started it in 2012 but put it down because I was eager to read Danny’s digest.

‘Killer in the Rain’ is by my favourite crime author Raymond Chandler and it was a selection of short stories.

Sometimes, when a novel is ‘telly-visualised’ there’s an immense sense of disappointment at the casting and interpretation of a character which you have a vivid image of in your fertile mind. A case in point would be Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Wraysford in the excellent Sebastian Faulkes novel ‘Birdsong’ (Which, by the way, is the only Faulkes novel I enjoyed) Actually that’s a rubbish example! Perhaps a better one would be Anne Hathaway in ‘One Day.’ No one could have visualised that feminine attempt at being Sean Bean’s compatriot! (Sorry, I’m rambling now but I never knew Sheffield was part of Middle earth! Why is that man so popular?)

Robert Mitchum however, IS Christopher Marlowe. I love the whole image of raincoats, trilby hats, a gun in a shoulder holster, a constant lighting of a cigarette, a drip feed of bourbon and of course a broad with the kinda figure that makes a man look twice.

Nobody gets done for drink driving
Nobody dies of cancer from smoking or cirrhosis of the liver through drinking
Nobody puts the boot in, it’s just a clean pistol whip
Good prevails over evil.

There is a tendency in Chandlers novels to over egg the gangster slang. I wonder who his readers were when he was current, and whether he would have been looked upon as pushing boundaries? I have to say that most of the time I haven’t really got a clue about the plot or what they are saying, but its testimony to his writing that he can create such a vivid atmosphere that it doesn’t really matter.

I couldn’t read a whole series of them, but, if you want a few hours escapism back to 1940’s LA, put your feet up on the desk, poor yourself a glass of rye, light up a cigarette (no don’t!) and enjoy!

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