Driving Chandler Off a Cliff

March 5, 2006

I just finished reading Drive by James Sallis. Midway through the book, a character asks, “Where’s Marlowe’s apartment?” That about sums up the book. Although Sallis dedicates the book to McBain, Westlake and Block, it is an extended play on the work of Raymond Chandler. Unfortunately, it evokes Chandler’s later confused work, when he was writing while drunk, rather than his best work like “The Long Goodbye.” If you admire Chandler, avoid this book, and instead pick up Gun, With Occasional Music by Johathan Lethem. Lethem’s book can be read profitably more than once. Sallis’s is merely good to occupy a couple of hours.

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2 Responses to “Driving Chandler Off a Cliff”

  1. John Roberts Says:

    Do you have a copy of Lethem’s book? If so, may I borrow it?

  2. JFP Says:

    Sure, I’m throwing it in my bag right now.


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