RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: career and peak

Date: 19 Nov 2001

<<<<< I prefer to judge whether authors perform to their own potential. By his last two books, Chandler wasn't.

I agree with you there. Although a lot of folks think THE LONG GOODBYE is Chandler's best novel, I count it as one of his worst, with Marlowe drowning in self pity. PLAYBACK is, as I understand it, the novelization of a screenplay, and POODLE SPRINGS is just an incomplete first draft, not improved by being finished by, of all people, Robert Parker. But surely we should judge an author by his or her best work, by the stuff they've written that endures. On that basis, Chandler is still the one to beat at his own game. And given that Chandler is one of the most imitated writers in the English language, for good or for ill, I wouldn't be so wuick to shrug him off. It's easy to see his influence on Parker, Ross McDonald, Howard Browne (John Evans), Thomas B. Dewey (the most underrated and possibly the best of the disciples), but also in William Gibson, James W. Hall, Robert Stone, James Crumley and on and on...


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 19 Nov 2001 EST