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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
There are lots of standard Raymond Chandler elements in TLS, including gangsters, devious deadly dames, and a film-noir Los Angeles. But in contrast to other Chandler novels I've read, there seems to be even less effort to elucidate the sour integrity of the lonely Marlowe. Since this is the fifth novel in the series, Chandler probably felt such explication would add little to, and might actually detract from, his spare and disciplined style. On the other hand, Chandler tells us more about the movie business in TLS and his dialogue is never better. Among my marginalia is: "Conversation as combat."
In TLS, it's the cops that bring out the best in Ray. When they're on the page, Chandler's wonderful metaphors seem sharpest, his skillful screen writer's dialogue carries the most freight, and his rhetoric absolutely soars. Here's Chandler letting loose, as Lieutenant Christy French berates Marlowe:
"It's like this with us, baby. We're coppers and everybody hates our guts. And as if we didn't have enough trouble, we have to have you. As if we didn't get pushed around enough by the guys in the corner offices, the City Hall gang, the day chief, the night chief, the Chamber of Commerce, His Honor the Mayor. ...We spend our lives turning over dirty underwear and sniffing rotten teeth. We go up dark stairways to get a gun punk with a skinful of hop and sometimes we don't get all the way up, and our wives wait dinner that night and all the other nights. We don't come home anymore. And nights we do come home, we come home so [expletive] tired, we can't eat or sleep or even read the lies the papers print about us. So we lie awake at night in a cheap house on a cheap street..."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chandler moves on to Post-War crime,
This review is from: The Little Sister (Paperback)Sleazy, dark, corrupt, fascinating, amoral and that's just Dolores Gonzales! Chandler hits top form again as he features a Hollywood 'reeking with sex', beyond all moral laws, in another bewildering plot ostensibly about little Orfamay's missing big brother.
Now aged 38, Marlowe feels 'jaded and old' from a lifetime of 'knocking on doors of cheap hotels that nobody bothered to open'. He still manages to be the undisputed California wisecrack champion; 'I'll make the gags, you tell the story'.
Chandler has a cynical attitude to the post-war world and how it has changed America. He loathes, 'California, the department store state. The most of everything and the best of nothing'. He despises the impact on Los Angeles 'once the Athens of America' now 'a neon-lighted slum'.
Thankfully, the homophobia of his earlier novels is toned down whilst Marlowe's relationship with the LAPD is back on an ambiguous path.
I was delighted that the Marlowe/Chandler imposters who masqueraded in 'The Lady in The Lake' were replaced by the real thing.
My only reservation is that I agree with Marlowe that the plot was, 'too complicated' and 'my head was dizzy with figuring it out'. What a shame that I may have to read it all again! I shall be forced to revisit the sizzling Mavis Weld and the 'as exclusive as a mailbox' Dolores.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Chandler gem,
The language is just brilliant and I can only think of Elmore Leonard who is even in the same class when it comes to crime fiction. Despite being set 50+ years ago they seem very contemporary and not all all past their time.
I would recommend all this series and to read them in order.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
This review is from: The Little Sister (Paperback)A classic crime and detective novel from the 1940's, but it's still hugely readable and entertaining even now. Some things never change - and the criminals, bad guys, gamblers, corrupt policemen and beautiful women Marlow encounters seem timeless. I read this in 2 sittings and immediately ordered more. Chandlers Philip Marlow is a great character, always just about managing to be a good guy, but only just sometimes, a hard boiled detective who's comfortable in Los Angeles seedy underworld, but who's got his own kind of moral code. A strength of character and integrity greater than those around him. Chandlers one of these authors that can develop a character in a sentence, and the one liners and dialogue are immense, there's hardly a passage that isn't quotable and the characters jump off the page.
Nevertheless, its not just the great characters and snappy one liners, the plot is pacey and exciting and there's a nice twist at the end. Buy one of Chandler's books and it's a cert you'll read them all. I actually quite envy anyone who'll be reading Raymond Chandler for the first time, he's head and shoulders above the rest.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Chandler,
This review is from: The Little Sister: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (Kindle Edition)Wow. Stepping right back in time into the world of Hollywood wannabees, gangsters and private detectives. I loved the sarcastic unspoken thoughts in the text. Marlowe is so much the gumshoe with the heart. He turns down all the hot and cold running broads that come his way but doesn't refuse a kiss or two. He is a sucker for a hard luck story and really tells it how it is even if he gets his face slapped as a result.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Chandler's best stories,
This review is from: The Little Sister (Hardcover)I wrote recently about an omnibus edition of Chandler's novels; this is the one that was missing. All of Raymond Chandlers detective books are excellent and you would be hard pushed to choose one that stands out beyond the rest; each have their qualities, but few are as hard hitting and as dark as this one. The story involves the search for a missing brother, instigated by his little sister. Early on, Phillip Marlowe's suspicions are raised and he hustles himself a Hollywood starlet, in the making, as a client: giving nothing away, the plot is involved and eventually reaches it conclusion with all loose ends tidied up, but no-one escapes from the critical eye that cynically dissects the post-war era and Hollywood and what the City of Los Angeles is becoming - old values gone and the new given over to the selling of sex - in the movie industry, in relationships between people, for the purposes of making a buck, or a lot of bucks, depending where you are in the food chain. This is the darkness, a world weary detective who has seen too much and likes too little of what he sees now, making the whole weary business mean and sordid: no-one comes out of it unscathed. Despite the darkness, this is not a gloomy story; it has pace and action, with written descriptions that make the time and place real. Not to be missed; if you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so and if you haven't got it, get it - it is worth reading again.
5.0 out of 5 stars a good book,
This review is from: The Little Sister (Paperback)bought for a Philip Marlowe fan. You can't always get the books you want on the high street without pre ordering, so it was good that this book was available so quickly and at a reasonable price.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Marlowe,
This review is from: The Little Sister (Paperback)"I hung up. It was a step in the right direction, but it didn't go far enough. I ought to have locked the door and hid under the desk."
-- from The Little Sister
The Little Sister is the fifth of Raymond Chandler's novels featuring the definitive hardboiled PI Philip Marlowe.
Orfamay Quest, a "small, neat, rather prissy-looking girl with primly smooth brown hair and rimless glasses" from Manhattan, Kansas is looking for a detective and Philip Marlowe is the lucky man. Orfamay, has come to Los Angeles to search for her older brother Orrin, who has recently come out to work as an engineer for the Cal-Western Aircraft Company in nearby Bay City. However he has stopped writing to Orfamay and their mother, so she has come out, during her holiday, to look for him. Despite giving Marlowe few leads with which to work and a mere 20 dollars, Marlowe agrees to take the job.
Marlowe's search for Orrin, leads him into the world of movie starlets, gangsters, suspicious cops and corpses with ice-picks jammed in their necks.
The writing is, as ever with Chandler, descriptive and evocative but also humorous.
"Raymond Chandler is a master."
--The New York Times
"Raymond Chandler was one of the finest prose writers of the twentieth century. . . . Age does not wither Chandler's prose. . . . He wrote like an angel."
For those who like Chandler's 'Marlowe' books the following is a list of his works:
The Big Sleep: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (Penguin Fiction) (1939)
Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
The High Window: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (1942)
The Lady in the Lake (A Philip Marlowe Novel) (1943)
The Little Sister: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (1949)
The Long Good-bye (1953)
Trouble is My Business (a collection of short stories featuring Philip Marlowe. Originally published before The Big Sleep between 1934-1939)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the little sister,
This review is from: The Little Sister (Paperback)I dont believe Raymond Chandler ever wrote a bad book.
I read all his stuff as a teenager and Ive just about finished re reading it all.
I am now 67, I loved it then and love it now.His descriptions of people and places are the best i have read, his wit and cynicism were great. The best writer of this genre ever! In my subjective opinion.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic Marlowe,
The case centres on the strange Quest siblings and Chandler's descriptions of LA & Hollywood, and the scenes with the homicide cops are just excellent writing.
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The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler (Paperback - 28 Oct 2010)