From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 18 Nov 2002

>Chandler's story sense is rather juvenile -- especially compared with later
>mystery writers like Jim Thompson and James Ellroy -- but this rarely
>matters. Chandler's stories are about people and places, and he never needs
>much space to nail them down. "The lobby was not quite as big as Yankee
>Stadium," Chandler's shamus narrates in Trouble Is My Business. "It was
>floored with a pale blue carpet with sponge rubber underneath. It was so
>soft it made me want to lie down and roll."

This paragraph bugs me, because for my money, Chandler took the needlessly complex and overly convoluted plots so favored by writers in the Christie school, and made them straightforward, then Ellroy took them and twisted them up (again needlessly) all over again. Of course this is not to say that James Ellroy is the second coming of Agatha Christie, unless Christie had a well-hidden obsession with chronicling sleaze of which I am unaware.

This paragraph also makes me think of what it would have taken for the quote from Chandler to have been written by Ellroy. Let me editorialize:

"It was floored with a multi-hued sewer and a cesspool bubbling just beneath the surface. It was so inviting to someone like me, it made me want to lie down and roll."


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Nov 2002 EST