Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler/Poodle Springs

Date: 20 May 2002

In a message dated 5/20/02 3:39:06 PM, writes:

<< I thought I'd ask rara-avians their view of how good a job Parker did with Poodle Springs. >>

    We've talked about this in the past, but not for quite a while. My opinion is that Poodle Springs demonstrates that Parker can indeed write something besides Spenser adventures and "Wilderness," but that this was a task that was best left "undone." If Chandler had finished the book as Parker has, we would surely rank it near the bottom of his pile of work.
    Part of the problem is Marlowe as the husband of a rich woman -- it takes some getting used to, and I was never able (even after the sell out ending) to meld this Marlowe into the one from the other novels. However, most of the shortcomings of the work lie in the distance that the writing in this apple and it's (characters and storyline) have fallen from the tree. You won't walk away from a reading of this one saying:

    What a beautifully crafted masterpiece. Truly incredible. How he came
    up with line after line, I can't even begin to give examples, I'd be
    reproducing the whole book. The book reads as if Chandler just sat down
    and it poured out of him.

    If "The Long Good-bye" represents artistic genius, "Poodle Springs" is no more than journeyman carpentry. The only semi-memorable lines I can recall from the book is, "Victor was browsing through my cigarettes like a goat through clover," and "The house that rose up before us wasn't anywhere near big enough to hold all of California. Probably not much more than the entire population of Los Angeles comfortably."

Overall, It's pretty mediocre stuff for a Chandler book.

                                    Jim Blue


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