Books I Bought Last Week:
None. Can you believe it?
Books I’ve Finished This Year:
-East of Eden by John Steinbeck
-Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
-Silk by Alessandro Barico
-Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores
-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain-Animal Farm by George Orwell
-The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-Grimm's Fairytales by the Brothers Grimm
-Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
-The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost
I bought another typewriter.
On Sundays, teachers, students, and military get a 25% off of their total purchase, so what on Thursday had been $12.99 for a typewriter I wasn't sure I wanted, today turned into a casually frantic search for a $9.75 typewriter. I found it tucked above scales and under food processors in a case that on second glace wasn't broken after all. It was only cosmetically dirty (nothing that rubbing alcohol can't fix) and the keys worked fine, though a younger and less experienced generation of buyers thought it didn't work due to needing a new ribbon. Okay, where does one find typwriter ribbon anymore? After two office supply stores and a total of five quizzical glances from men who didn't quite know how to handle the nerdy anomaly excited to find typewriter ribbon, I victoriously drove down the highway with my window down, listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros play my favorite summer song, "Kisses Over Babylon." (http://youtu.be/CR8xbCPvr-o)
What stuck with me was much less contemporary than my song, or even my car (though it is nearly 20 years old. Yikes.) -I love old things. Old, old things. I use my recently acquired typewriter as a segue into what I had intended to blog about today: Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Musso&Franks, and noir. (If I were a radio host, I would change the theme music from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to something more fitting, say Woody Herman, http://youtu.be/hK_9otl3sZ0)
I grew up watching old movies and The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart was one of my favorites.It captured everything I loved about noir films, and the plot was so intense that I used to use it as a litmus test for adulthood: if I could figure out the murderer, then and just then I'd be a
But I never read it.
That doesn't surprise you, does it, reader? The blogger who struggles with reading books as fast as she buys them? Nah. So it mustn't surprise you, then, that I didn't read it until this year, until over ten years after I bought it. I probably wouldn't have, to be honest, if I hadn't had a conversation with a colleague at the college about noir
By Chandler's cynical voice through the first person Phillip Marlowe is the charm of the book. While he's bitter and makes comments about society, his eye for detail is both thoughtfully introspective and sometimes funny. I was pulled in almost immediately, especially with phrases like "Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead." Later when he references the dead man, he says, "His glass eye shone brightly up at me and was by far the most life-like thing about him." Later as he notices that someone has moved the body, he says, "Dead men are heavier than broken hearts." Who is this detective? He wants to come off as street-smart, savvy, too cool for school -and he is- but he's also a beautiful thinker, a philosopher. The end -no, I won't ruin it for you- is so beautifully worded that I couldn't help but to sigh with the last turned page. Read it. You have to.
By the way, the book is completely different from the movie. Raymond Chandler wrote it while sitting in the back booth of Musso&Franks on Hollywood Boulevard. It was established in 1919 and
The moral to this story is to always go to the restaurant where your favorite book is written, sit in your author's booth, and get a drink at the bar from where your other favorite author drank with his frenemy. Here's the other moral of the story: always buy cheap typewriters at Goodwill.