November 22nd, 2003


The Long Goodbye

Finally finished The Long Goodbye. It took far longer than I expected not because I wasn't enjoying it, or because it was difficult. I like the book a lot. I just haven't had many opportunities to read lately, even at lunch time.

The novel is great, not the usual kind of whodunnit where there's a big scene at the end where all is revealed. Rather the layers of the mystery are peeled away slowly, one at a time, a lot like the way the elegant ladies Marlowe meets along the way remove articles of clothing. I did manage to keep up with Marlowe as he figured things out, but that wasn't really the point. The point was making it up to an acquaintence who got a raw deal.

Marlowe is a champion. Angel is his direct descendent. Thinking about it, so is Garrett, though his situation is a direct copy of Archie's. Archie is much more a mercenary, a professional detective who may be sympathetic to clients, but rarely let's it interfere with the business at hand. Then there's Nick, who seems more interested in the intellectual challenge than anything else, much like Holmes. The alcoholic and the cocaine addict, staving off ennui by solving puzzles.

Still wondering who should play Marlowe in my head. Right now it's mostly Harrison Ford. I took another look at the cast list for the Altman version that stars Elliott Gould. It is very strange casting. Also, the Lorings don't even appear to be in the movie, so I suspect major changes were made to the plot. Also, if you go to the second page of the cast listing, it turns out Arnold Schwartzenegger has a bit part. Another good reason not to see it.

Forty years ago today, John Kennedy got shot. I remember it like it was yesterday.
  • Current Music
    "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" -- Rodgers & Hammerstein