ROCK'S MILLS PRESS BOOKS THAT MATTER
6X9, 272 pages
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid."
This page-turner of a detective novel reveals the dark underbelly of 1950s America. Los Angeles, California, land of movie stars and swimming pools, is a mirage of glamour and luxury in the American imagination. In Chandler's depiction, the economy is booming, cars are king, and interstate highways are springing up across the country, but not far beneath this shiny surface lurk dark, dangerous and desperate people. We find few safety nets in this shadowy world.
Philip Marlowe, private investigator, moves through the bleached American nowhere-and-everywhere of Los Angeles. Trouble is never hard to find among the often distressed, frequently charming, and occasionally downright weird characters who populate this novel. This compelling tale of mystery, revenge and mental illness finishes with a denouement as jaw-dropping as it is unexpected.
Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) was a novelist and screenwriter whose novels include Farewell My Love (1940), The Long Goodbye (1953) and Playback (1958).
Ken Paradis, who wrote the introduction, is coordinator in the English program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has published critical scholarship on The Long Goodbye and is a long-time fan of the hardboiled detective genre.