RARA-AVIS: Re: Non Fiction about Crime Fiction

From: BookBitch (BookBitch@yahoo.com)
Date: 18 Oct 2008

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    From a slightly different viewpoint-- The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved by Judith Freeman

    From Publishers Weekly: Novelist Freeman (Red Water) turns her obsession with Chandler and his beautiful wife, Cissy, into a kind of voyeuristic exploration of their unusual but symbiotic marriage. The creator of Philip Marlowe and author of such classics as The Long Goodbye and Farewell, My Lovely, remains an enigma and his much older wife (she lied to him about her age) is even more of a cipher. Freeman describes researching Chandler archives at both UCLA and the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and her pilgrimages to the extraordinary number of homes and apartments (more than 30) where the peripatetic Chandlers lived in California. She also consulted printed resources and interviewed some who knew the Chandlers late in their lives. She effectively uses passages from Chandler's fiction and letters to illustrate his battles with alcoholism, boredom, manuscripts and screenplays. Less effective are the many passages where Freeman tries to read too much from scanty clues (for
     instance, trying to guess which woman in a photograph is the one Chandler had an affair with). The result is an uneven account, part author's journal, part biography, of an unusual couple whose marriage survived against all odds and may have been the key factor that allowed Chandler to create his tarnished knight, Marlowe.

    Cheers, Stacy

    I am the BookBitch www.bookbitch.com   Enter the SPOOKTACULAR BOOK GIVEAWAY at the BookBitchBlog http://bookbitch.blogspot.com/2008/10/spooktacular-book-giveaway.html

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