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Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




I just finished The Long Goodbye.

I can certainly understand why it's the most famous of Chandler's Marlow stories, as Marlowe really reflected well off of Lennox and Wade in the end, and Lennox returning at the end to a cold and unwelcoming Marlowe who now sees his friend in an entirely different light was a great finish.

The scene with Linda Loring was about as tragic a romantic encounter as one could expect from Marlowe, but delivered some pretty hilarious (albeit dark) lines,

:bigtran: We could get married...
It wouldn't last 6 months


...and the debate between Ohls and Marlowe on crime ended juts before it got annoying.


Very happy to have read it, debating not reading Playback and leaving this one as my last Marlowe... opinions?

Edit: Happy Page 2!

Professor Shark fucked around with this message at 17:52 on Oct 15, 2014

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Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

Professor Shark posted:


Very happy to have read it, debating not reading Playback and leaving this one as my last Marlowe... opinions?

Playback is certainly worth a read if you're going through all of the Marlowe books and have never read it before. It's the weakest Marlowe novel fully by Chandler, but it's not a bad book. The big criticisms that usually gets lobbed at it is that the plot is less complex than his previous novels (especially coming directly after The Long Goodbye); that Marlowe is at his most cynical and bitter (Chandler, who wasn't in great shape physically or mentally at this point, certainly was at his most bitter and cynical); and that Chandler went more for atmosphere than anything else (which makes some sense, considering it started as a screenplay).

On the other hand, it's still well written, not too long, and it ties into The Long Goodbye. And it's got Marlowe being Marlowe.

God Of Paradise
Jan 23, 2012
You know, I'd be less worried about my 16 year old daughter dating a successful 40 year old cartoonist than dating a 16 year old loser.

I mean, Jesus, kid, at least date a motherfucker with abortion money and house to have sex at where your mother and I don't have to hear it. Also, if he treats her poorly, boom, that asshole's gonna catch a statch charge.

Please, John K. Date my daughter... Save her from dating smelly dropouts who wanna-be Soundcloud rappers.


Playback is the one Marlowe book of Chandler's I haven't read.

In general, as to whether or not you should read it, it's Chandler writing a Philip Marlowe book. Course you should read it.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Well I just finished Playback.

I was pleased that Chandler included a reference to beach sage, which is featured in most of his novels somewhere, most predominantly in Farewell, My Lovely, only the sage in Esmeralda is "sweeter" than the bitter kind in L.A. despite being the exact same plant, and the eucalyptus trees also grow stronger than the gnarled, thin, sickly ones in L.A., which I thought was a nice touch as an insight into Chandler's perception of the city.

All in all a simple novel, but I appreciate it and am glad that I read it.

Poodle Springs... we'll see. I have the short stories to occupy me for now, and there are a lot of them.

Borneo Jimmy
Feb 27, 2007

by Smythe


So what are your guys' thoughts on Mickey Spillane?

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Borneo Jimmy posted:

So what are your guys' thoughts on Mickey Spillane?

I've only read one ( The By Pass Control) and it was amazingly pulpy even by my standards.

Xotl
May 28, 2001

Be seeing you.

Borneo Jimmy posted:

So what are your guys' thoughts on Mickey Spillane?

When you say Spillane people think Mike Hammer, though he wrote a fair amount of non-Hammer stuff. The Hammer stories are divided into distinct periods, as he'd take a decade off and then write a few before quitting for another decade. I've read five of the initial batch of six Hammer stories (by far the most popular ones) and they're excellent - quick, charged, dirty. A week ago I finished one of his second batch, from the late sixties, and it was seriously disappointing (The Body Lovers). It's an excellent first sixty pages, with a great set-up, before moving to treading-water status and then collapsing with an ending that's just... sad. The character turns rabidly anti-Communist real quick once the Cold War starts.

Going to echo the love for John D. Macdonald here. His Travis McGee books are a great deal of fun, but his pre-McGee period is full of great stories that are often wonderful. Once he decided to start McGee, he only wrote something like 3 non-McGee books in the next twenty years, after churning out some twenty or so independent short novels in the ten years prior. I agree that Bright Orange for the Shroud, which I just finished today, is one of the better McGee stories.

McGee is a real interesting character in that his first stories come in 1963, which when you're writing about a counterculture figure is comparable to a story featuring a soldier written in 1913. The year before the Beatles hit, and with James Bond only having just shown up in film. McGee is too young to be an old hardboiled guy with a WWII background, but too young to fit in with the hippies. He's happy with free love, yet is curiously moral about certain aspects of it. He likes jazz and hates rock n' roll, is a Korean War vet (not a common thing to hang on one of these characters), but doesn't have any Bondian affections (though he likes gin and a rare pipe). He's an environmentalist in an age where the idea is novel. It's a fun mix of old-fashioned and new that I really enjoy, and I especially like watching him and the times change from '63 (when the first three stories appear) to '85 (when the last comes out).

Xotl fucked around with this message at 17:10 on Oct 30, 2014

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

John d. Mcdonald also wrote some decent sf in his early career.

You're not alone in loving the way the reader gets to watch Florida change over the McGee books. There's a similar effect if you read the Nero Wolfe detective books in sequential order, and watch Manhattan change over forty odd years, from the depression through to the seventies.

AFewBricksShy
Jun 19, 2003

of a full load.



I read a lot of Chandler's stories a few years ago, but the one mistake I made was reading his short stories first. A lot of his novels are just 2 or 3 of the short stories stitched together.

AFewBricksShy fucked around with this message at 18:08 on Oct 31, 2014

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Yeah, I read that before I started so I went with the novels first. I have the short story collection and out of curiosity I flipped to the end of The Lady in the Lake, short story version, and realized that it had a different ending.

I figure by next summer I'll have forgotten most of the details of the books, so I'll be good to go from there!

LARGE THE HEAD
Sep 1, 2009

"Competitive greatness is when you play your best against the best."

"Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow."

--John Wooden


Borneo Jimmy posted:

So what are your guys' thoughts on Mickey Spillane?

Only read Day of the Guns. Pretty dense and even a little difficult to follow, but the payoff at the end was spectacular.

Total Meatlove
Jan 28, 2007


Rangers died, shoujo Hitler cried ;_;


I love James Crumley, there's just something about his use of language.

The first line from Last Good Kiss is the one everyone quotes;

"When I finally caught up with Abraham Traherne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts, in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon."

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




I thought I asked it in this thread but I guess I didn't... what was going on in the *real* dream at the end of The Glass Key?

Edit: I think I have the gist of it: if we don't take this opportunity to get out now we never will and this town will kill us both, but I feel that there must be more than that going on...

Professor Shark fucked around with this message at 15:36 on Nov 27, 2014

Phobeste
Apr 9, 2006

never, like, count out Touchdown Tom, man

Just finished The Long Goodbye after reading the previous ones in succession. I haven't read the last couple yet but I have heard it goes downhill from here.

The Marlowe book that spans the longest timeframe -3, 4 months- with the most interwoven threads; the first time Marlowe really "gets the girl" explicitly (though I won't mention which girl it is) and the return of Bernie Ohls. This story really has it all and it's my favorite so far. Like all the best long running detective stories it's not only firmly based in places is set but has a sense of its own history- written 14 years after The Big Sleep, it visits some of the same places with the same characters and reminisces on how they used to be. We see Marlowes sentimental side and it really rings true. It's one of the few times in hard boiled fiction that a man does this much not for a pretty face or a big paycheck but just because a man bought him a gimlet a couple of times.

My favorite so far.

Borneo Jimmy
Feb 27, 2007

by Smythe


Anybody here familiar with Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm books? (Not the movies) I know they're spy fiction but the style is closer to John MacDonald than John Le Carre.

Heavy Metal
Sep 1, 2014

America's $1 Funnyman

I started The Big Sleep lately, really digging it. Odd that the movie didn't go with the narration, I love that great narration in the Murder My Sweet movie. Also took out the Postman Always Rings Twice book, gonna give that a go.

1969 baby
Apr 29, 2013


Borneo Jimmy posted:

Anybody here familiar with Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm books? (Not the movies) I know they're spy fiction but the style is closer to John MacDonald than John Le Carre.

I read them all growing up, but have only reread the first couple as an adult.

They're a touch darker than John D. MacDonald to me, but similar in some ways. Travis McGee is likely to leave the girl, Matt Helm is more likely to kill the girl.



edited for added content.

I've been rereading John Connolly lately. His stuff is like if the supernatural elements of James Lee Burke were the whole point, or if F. Paul Wilson was poetic. He has all the parts though, ex-cop P.I., alcohol, sociopathic partners, tortured conflicted protagonist.

1969 baby fucked around with this message at 04:08 on Jun 12, 2015

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



1969 baby posted:

I've been rereading John Connolly lately. His stuff is like if the supernatural elements of James Lee Burke were the whole point, or if F. Paul Wilson was poetic. He has all the parts though, ex-cop P.I., alcohol, sociopathic partners, tortured conflicted protagonist.

I love Connolly's books, but they are just unrelentingly bleak.

1969 baby
Apr 29, 2013


Ornamented Death posted:

I love Connolly's books, but they are just unrelentingly bleak.

When the series started to feel like reading a catalog of atrocities, I took a break and read some Henning Mankel.

TomViolence
Feb 19, 2013

PLEASE ASK ABOUT MY 80,000 WORD WALLACE AND GROMIT SLASH FICTION. PLEASE.



While we're on the subject of unrelentingly bleak catalogues of atrocity, I finally finished David Peace's Red Riding Quartet. Dunno if it really fits into the detective genre, though, since it's so grimdark and nihilistic that nothing really gets answered or resolved in a satisfactory sense and it's written in such a borderline-incomprehensible stream of consciousness style. Nonetheless, can anyone recommend me something similar in tone? The only comparable stuff I've read in the crime genre's a bit of James Ellroy's earlier output.

1969 baby
Apr 29, 2013


TomViolence posted:

While we're on the subject of unrelentingly bleak catalogues of atrocity, I finally finished David Peace's Red Riding Quartet. Dunno if it really fits into the detective genre, though, since it's so grimdark and nihilistic that nothing really gets answered or resolved in a satisfactory sense and it's written in such a borderline-incomprehensible stream of consciousness style. Nonetheless, can anyone recommend me something similar in tone? The only comparable stuff I've read in the crime genre's a bit of James Ellroy's earlier output.

Never heard of him, but it sounds like my kind of thing. I've added him to my want list, and will report back eventually. Maybe early Ken Bruen like the White Trilogy could fit there in a pulpy, less artistic way.

savinhill
Mar 28, 2010


TomViolence posted:

While we're on the subject of unrelentingly bleak catalogues of atrocity, I finally finished David Peace's Red Riding Quartet. Dunno if it really fits into the detective genre, though, since it's so grimdark and nihilistic that nothing really gets answered or resolved in a satisfactory sense and it's written in such a borderline-incomprehensible stream of consciousness style. Nonetheless, can anyone recommend me something similar in tone? The only comparable stuff I've read in the crime genre's a bit of James Ellroy's earlier output.

Yeah the Red Riding books are some of my all time favorite crime fiction, just so well-written, complex, and brutal.

As far as similar recommendations, there's the two already released books in Peace's Tokyo Trilogy. They're crime fic set in Tokyo during the American occupation of Japan right after WWII and just as bleak and brutal as Red Riding, though the writing is even more stylistic and dense.

Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the best books published last year imo. Its set in Jamaica in the 70s, has the attempted assassination of Bob Marley as a center piece and largely concerns Jamaican criminal gangs, political corruption, CIA fuckery, and the flourishing of the Carribean to US drug trade. James has another great novel titled The Book of Night Women that could be considered similar in narrative style and the brutality of it's subject matter, but its about slavery on Jamaican plantations back in the day instead of a modern crime novel.

Also, have you read later James Ellroy(especially his Underworld USA Trilogy)? I like it even more than his earlier stuff and it's probably the closest you'll get to Red Riding.

Roark
Dec 1, 2009

A moderate man - a violently moderate man.

What's the gooncensus on the Bernie Gunther/Berlin Noir series? I read the original three years ago and loved them, and I'm binging through the later books. I just finished Field Grey, which was probably one of the bleakest books of the series (and this is a series set in Nazi and post-war Germany).

Pistol_Pete
Sep 15, 2007

I disagree! Only 2 Princesses have died. That is one of the smallest number of dead Princesses you can have.

Oven Wrangler

You guys should try reading falling angel. It starts out as a classic detective mystery and gradually gets creepier and crazier from there. Amazing book.

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



Anyone have recommendations for modern hardboiled detective stuff?

Is anyone writing it? I'm particularly interested in stuff that takes into account the internet and smartphones, cause it seems like those would change everything.

DrVenkman
Dec 27, 2005

I think he can hear you, Ray.


Malloreon posted:

Anyone have recommendations for modern hardboiled detective stuff?

Is anyone writing it? I'm particularly interested in stuff that takes into account the internet and smartphones, cause it seems like those would change everything.

I tried writing some myself, but I found that putting it in the present day sort of makes it lack something. Obviously people more talented than me can make it work. But hardboiled fiction always seemed the domain of dark alleys and payphones and the like.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




I'm reading Chandler's short stories, but have been considering writing a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, as many of the ones I listen to in audiobook form are goddamn terrible.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




I just finished the last Marlowe story I had to read, The Pencil, and I still have no idea what happened in it at the end, except for "it wasn't good".

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




Over my probation I watched a few hard-boiled detective movies/ TV, Homicide and Bored to Death. I found Bored to Death to be a great spin on the genre.

My favorite is a series I started yesterday: Ray Donovan. It's basically modern Philip Marlowe meets Tony Soprano.

Edit: I also read Mr Mercedes by Stephen King, which was much more disappointing than I'd imagined it would be. Would NOT recommend.

Professor Shark fucked around with this message at 00:15 on Aug 18, 2015

Rough Lobster
May 27, 2009

Don't be such a squid, bro


I tried to watch Bored to Death but it just seemed aggressively bad, and I'm someone who likes Jason Schwartzman. I usually try to give a show 5 eps to reel me in but at the end of the four there was just no chance.

Rough Lobster fucked around with this message at 08:34 on Aug 18, 2015

Xotl
May 28, 2001

Be seeing you.

Professor Shark posted:

I'm reading Chandler's short stories, but have been considering writing a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, as many of the ones I listen to in audiobook form are goddamn terrible.

I started writing some in part for the same reason. It's amazing how many people miss the basic premises of a Holmes story.

Evfedu
Feb 28, 2007


I've been meaning to dip my toe into this genre a little more than I have previously. Police procedurals never really did it for me, neither did the Jackson Brodie stuff, so are there any good, modern hardboiled books that have a goon seal of approval floating around at the moment?

Your Sledgehammer
May 10, 2010

Don`t fall asleep, you gotta write for THUNDERDOME

Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels are generally pretty awesome. I think there are like 15 or 16 of them now, so they'll keep you busy for awhile. You can jump on at pretty much any point as nearly all of them work as standalones, but there's a pretty interesting character arc if you read them in order.

Gargamel Gibson
Apr 24, 2014


I just started reading the first Berlin Noir book and it's really good. And just like the best hardboiled detectives Bernie GŁnther is a total dickhead to everyone who tries to talk to him.

Rough Lobster
May 27, 2009

Don't be such a squid, bro


Pistol_Pete posted:

You guys should try reading falling angel. It starts out as a classic detective mystery and gradually gets creepier and crazier from there. Amazing book.

I just read this. Pretty drat good book. Is the movie they based on it supposed to be any good?

szary
Mar 12, 2014


Rough Lobster posted:

I just read this. Pretty drat good book. Is the movie they based on it supposed to be any good?

FWIW I loved the movie, but I never read the book, so I don't know if it's a good adaptation.

Pink Robot Army
Jul 4, 2009


Malloreon posted:

Anyone have recommendations for modern hardboiled detective stuff?

You might dig the Spero Lucas Series by George Pelecanos. There's only a couple books out, but they read fast and smart and definitely feel hardboiled without feeling like a pastiche.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012




I just finished The Black Eyed Blonde and wow... that was not a good book. It starts off decently enough, though is a bit heavy in call-backs/ call-forwards (Marlowe reflects at least every second chapter about Linda Loring pining for him in Paris), but it really starts to fall apart at about the half-way point.

Would Not Recommend.

savinhill
Mar 28, 2010


I'm reading Denis Johnson's Nobody Moves right now, about halfway through and it's awesome so far. Well-written, great memorable characters, and it's got some great dark humor, highly recommend for anyone looking for something in the Elmore Leonard vein of crime fic.

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Pink Robot Army
Jul 4, 2009


Just finished Bankok 8 by John Burdett and it really kind of blew me away. Definitely has a modern hardboiled feel (instead of existential anti-hero, it's got an outsider buddhist), really filled me with that same sense of mystery and dread. Just picked up A Drink Before the War, so hoping for good things from that.

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