Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Who don't you like?

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 02 Jul 2006

So Jeff, since you didn't address it, does that mean that you accept my assertion that "The Long Goodbye"(1954) is superior work to "Playback"? Also, I never said "Farewell My Lovely" was stronger than "The Lady in the Lake." I said it was stronger than "The High Window." I would also submit that it's better than "Playback." In fact, for my money, all of Chandler's previous works are superior to "Playback."

All of this sort of flies in the face of your statement that his work only got better over time. I think he had peaks and valleys, like any other writer. "Big Sleep" was pretty good. "Farewell, My Lovely" was good, too. "The High Window" was a valley (at least for me). "The Lady in the Lake" was brilliant, likewise, "The Little Sister." I think "The Long Goodbye" is positively elegaic at times, and "Playback" is another valley, signaling a decline brought on by stress, his wife's death, alcoholism, and failing health.

All the Best-


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jeff Vorzimmer
  Sent: Saturday, July 01, 2006 2:12 PM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Who don't you like?

  I think it's more obvious with his short stories, but I don't think all that
  highly of Farewell, My Lovely. I don't think it's as strong a novel as Lady
  in the Lake, for instance.


> Jeff Vorzimmer wrote about Mike Hammer books:
> "I only felt that about I, the Jury, like Chandler's novels, they got
  progressively better."
> Gotta disagree with you here, Jeff.
> In my opinion, "Farewell My Lovely," which preceded "The High Window"/"The
  Brasher Doubloon," kicks ass all over it. Also, I can't see how anyone who
  has read the two closely would conclude that "Playback" (1958), although a
  fine enough book, was anywhere near in the league of "The Long Goodbye."


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