My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was the set reading for September 2019 Bibliogoth. I enjoyed the book, which I'd never read -I'd read (in translation) quite a bit of noir private eye stories when I was a kid but this is kind of seminal. Marlowe's stereotypes pop up everywhere there is a depiction of a private detective -either conforming to the stereotype or riffing on an exaggeration of it (like Josephus Miller in The Expanse) or going against it, as in Columbo. I didn't feel it is a particularly well written book (but then it shares this quality with a lot of stuff by PKD and Lovecraft, for instance), there are some unlikely twists in the plot and most of the characters didn't feel 'real', but rather as simple plot devices to make the story advance. And it is a book of its time in ways that often grate -the casual sexism and homophobia are often shocking. So, entertaining but problematic.
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