Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy birthday, Raymond Chandler

It is the birthday of detective novelist Raymond Chandler (1888), whose Philip Marlowe character is for many the quintessential private detective. Chandler's influence on the genre is indelible. What better way to celebrate his birthday than to share some of his choice passages? These are blatantly lifted from The Raymond Chandler Website, where they were blatantly lifted from Chandler's own works. You can read more here. Or you can just find his books and read them.

"On the dance floor half a dozen couples were throwing themselves around with the reckless abandon of a night watchman with arthritis "---Playback (Chapter 8)

"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts "---The Big Sleep (Chapter 8)

"She's dark and lovely and passionate. And very, very kind."
"And exclusive as a mailbox," I said.
---The Little Sister (Chapter 19)

"It was a cool day and very clear. You could see a long way--but not as far as Velma had gone"---Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 41)

"I put the duster away folded with the dust in it, leaned back and just sat, not smoking, not even thinking. I was a blank man. I had no face, no meaning, no personality, hardly a name. I didn't want to eat. I didn't even want a drink. I was the page from yesterday's calendar crumpled at the bottom of the waste basket "---The Little Sister (Chapter 25)

"Eddie Mars wanted to see me."
"I didn't know you knew him. Why?"
"I don't mind telling you. He thought I was looking for somebody he thought had run away with his wife."
"Were you?"
"No."
"Then what did you come for?"
"To find out why he thought I was looking for somebody he thought had run away with his wife."
"Did you find out?"
"No."
---The Big Sleep (Chapter 23)

"Tall, aren't you?" she said.
"I didn't mean to be."
Her eyes rounded. She was puzzled. She was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother to her.
---The Big Sleep (Chapter 1)

"I never saw any of them again - except the cops. No way has yet been invented to say goodbye to them." ---The Long Goodbye (Chapter 52)

"Then he picked the glass up and tasted it and sighed again and shook his head sideways with a half smile; the way a man does when you give him a drink and he needs it very badly and it is just right and the first swallow is like a peek into a cleaner, sunnier, brighter world." " ---The High Window (Chapter 15)

"The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips." ---The Lady in the Lake (Chapter 1)

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight." ---The Little Sister (Chapter 12)

"I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard." --"The King in Yellow"

"The big foreign car drove itself, but I held the wheel for the sake of appearances." --Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 9)

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