Re: RARA-AVIS: i've been listening (Chandler + Ellroy)

From: Jim Beaver (
Date: 20 Apr 2001

> I will never understand this, because I should love the stuff without
> question, but I always have trouble getting through the Chandler work. I
> read it, and it's so nice, but I just get stuck, and I've never known why,
> exactly.

I suppose it's what it always gets ascribed to, personal tastes. I've been reading hardboiled, mystery, detective and murder fiction for more than three decades now, and the only authors anywhere in this range whose works I have read both exhaustively and repeatedly are Chandler and Conan Doyle. I've read all of Hammett, but none twice. I've read tons of Macdonald, Parker, Stout, Timothy Harris, McBain, but none of their works twice. Whereas I've read everything of Chandler's at least three times, with full intention of doing it again if I live long enough. And trust me, it's not because I can't remember the plots! Chandler simply transports me to a world of painful, poetic, melancholy idealism that I find nowhere else, and I would rather be there than just about anywhere. And if that's not excellent writing, I might just prefer it to excellent writing.

Jim Beaver

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