Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Book Review: Raymond Chandler, The Little Sister (1949)

The point of reading a Philip Marlowe novel is to spend time with Philip Marlowe, one of the great creations in all of American literature, not to spend time with a good mystery--truth be told, Raymond Chandler was not much of a mystery writer. In reading a Marlowe novel, then, the question, bizarrely, becomes this: How much does the mystery interfere with the novel? In the case of The Little Sister, the answer, happily, is not too much. The book is never in any real danger of sinking under the weight of inept overplotting, as is the case with other Marlowe novels such as Farewell, My Lovely and (worse) The Lady in the Lake. Grade: A-

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