Why this book?
It’s probably Raymond Chandler’s best novel. The story has all the elements Chandler is best known for biting humor, colorful characters that include gangsters and lawmen with violent streaks and hair-trigger temperaments, a keen insight into the sordid lives of society’s rich and powerful, and a private detective with a taste for alcohol and the soul of an avenging angel.
Phillip Marlowe is one of literature’s most famous private detectives, and probably cinema’s best portrayal of a jaded P.I. working the beat in mid-twentieth-century Los Angeles. Chandler’s creation portrays a flawed and borderline alcoholic who handles cases with the insight of a social scientist and the wit of a streetwise hood. The novel is a page-turner not only for the action and suspense, but for the humor and sarcasm Chandler dispenses with each new scene he introduces.