The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4)
A couple of missing wives—one a rich man's and one a poor man's—become the objects of Marlowe's investigation. One of them may have gotten a Mexican divorce and married a gigolo and the other may be dead. Marlowe's not sure he cares about either one, but he's not paid to care.

The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4) Details

TitleThe Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 12th, 1988
PublisherVintage Crime/Black Lizard
ISBN-139780394758251
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Noir, Classics, Detective

The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4) Review

  • Henry Avila
    January 1, 1970
    Looking down into the deep waters of the small lake there is movement a hand... the murky image is unclear, concealing a secret which gives this book its title, The Lady in the Lake, Marlowe watches, his stomach is... not joyful, however appearances can be deceiving. The brutish husband Bill Chess, the village drunk is arrested for the crime, the victim his mysterious mate an outsider, Muriel has been wet for a month, so well... the difficulty in identification is very unpleasant for the poor lo Looking down into the deep waters of the small lake there is movement a hand... the murky image is unclear, concealing a secret which gives this book its title, The Lady in the Lake, Marlowe watches, his stomach is... not joyful, however appearances can be deceiving. The brutish husband Bill Chess, the village drunk is arrested for the crime, the victim his mysterious mate an outsider, Muriel has been wet for a month, so well... the difficulty in identification is very unpleasant for the poor local coroner. Little Fawn Lake eighty miles from the bustling metropolis of L.A. is unfamiliar territory for the intrepid shamus , you notice this and the uncomfortable investigator moving about in the quiet area . His client has a vacation cabin here and Marlowe needs to search it. The fat constable Mr. Jim Patton in the mountains of San Bernardino there, is surprisingly competent . Philip Marlowe a private eye has been hired to find the wife of businessman Derace Kingsley, Crystal, a woman whose proclivity for extracurricular activity begins the plot. The results murders, Mr. Marlowe is a magnet in this aspect of discovering dead bodies, where ever he roams the unliving are there and stillness prevails. But not for long, others will fall as the detective travels from the mountain lakes outside Los Angeles, that city itself, to a corrupt little town Bay City ( Santa Monica). Al Degarmo the tough cop from Bay City, they do not think kindness a virtue, is snooping around, no gentleman, a crack in the head with a blackjack, a punch in the face, a kick to the shin anything to make you talk, few keep quiet . Mr. Marlowe will experience his unhappiness he is no superman, when hit it hurts, blood flows from him very easily like anyone else. Chris Lavery a playboy the kind that never saw a attractive woman he didn't covet, is the key to the story and revealing the villain or villains from the not so bad . Still lies and liars are easily found here, people who can be believed rare , trust becomes an anomaly. Raymond Chandler the in my opinion the best mystery writer who ever put ink on paper and that includes computers, shows again his mastery of atmosphere and character , you feel the unhealthy air closing in, the breathing becomes hard the thickness all consuming, death is near. For this is much more than another who done it, art if I may be presumptuous in writing this, is great literature... a fact.
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  • Paul Bryant
    January 1, 1970
    Raindrops on strippers and crisp apple gunshotsBright copper floozies and warm woolly whatnots, Muscular gentlemen tied up with stringsThese are a few of my favorite thingsGirls in bikinis with breathtaking lipstickSlayed belles on gurneys as fast talking dicks quipSilverwhite cocaine and fabulous blingThese are a few of my favourite thingFinding those corpses with wide ugly gashesAnd no nose at all and not many eyelashesAnd Chandler and Marlowe and slightly left wingsThese are a few of my favou Raindrops on strippers and crisp apple gunshotsBright copper floozies and warm woolly whatnots, Muscular gentlemen tied up with stringsThese are a few of my favorite thingsGirls in bikinis with breathtaking lipstickSlayed belles on gurneys as fast talking dicks quipSilverwhite cocaine and fabulous blingThese are a few of my favourite thingFinding those corpses with wide ugly gashesAnd no nose at all and not many eyelashesAnd Chandler and Marlowe and slightly left wingsThese are a few of my favourite things
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  • David Gustafson
    January 1, 1970
    I have decided to take a break from my usual obsession with history to take a deep plunge into several of the classic noir detective novels by Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett. A few of these will be re-reads. Why noir? America is even divided between two fanatical ideologies so I guess the noir genre suits my cynical nature as an outcast, literary hermit who despises the hypocritical dishonesty and corruption of both political franchises as well as the obedient myrmidons i I have decided to take a break from my usual obsession with history to take a deep plunge into several of the classic noir detective novels by Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett. A few of these will be re-reads. Why noir? America is even divided between two fanatical ideologies so I guess the noir genre suits my cynical nature as an outcast, literary hermit who despises the hypocritical dishonesty and corruption of both political franchises as well as the obedient myrmidons in the media who defend them against the other side without seeing that they are both evil and despicable in and by themselves. Another key ingredient to the noir formula is the hard bitten, cynical private eye working against both the criminal element as well as the corrupt cops. I don't know many criminals besides a few upper-level, corporate fruit flies who will never be brought to justice, but I live in Las Vegas where the police force has worked overtime to tarnish its own image to the best of its ability. In coffee shops around town, I have been completely unsuccessful in trying to engage any one of these morons in an intelligent conversation. It is beyond their meager abilities. It creeps me out that these antisocial goons carry both a badge and a gun. That is another reason I am going noir! No one suits this noir streak better than Raymond Chandler's sarcastic, hard drinking, private dick Philip Marlowe. In "The Lady in the Lake," Marlowe is hired by a perfume company exec to find his estranged wife who had disappeared from their summer home, sending him a very nice dear John letter saying that she was running off to Mexico with another man. That came as no big surprise, but later he runs into his wife'e lover who claims they never ran off together so where did she go? The wife had some bad habits and the husband is more concerned about some embarrassing publicity that might cost him his cushy job rather than about the missing lady's well-being. No hard feelings, Dear. With Marlowe as our wise-cracking guide, interpreter and body guard, Chandler leads us on a twisting, turning roller coaster ride through a 1940's lookingglass from Hollywood to the lake in the mountains where we stumble upon a lady's body, back down again and then back up to the lake again where, much to our chagrin, we meet both the missing lady and her killer. This is the first time I have read "The Lady in the Lake." It is a 222 page, page- burner that you will not want to put down without a good fight. Whether you are flying transatlantic, across America or taking a meandering, overnight train ride through Europe, may I recommend this novel as an antidote to your temporary captivity. As a warm-up to get you into the proper 1940's mood for this novel, may I also suggest that you go to YouTube and pull up the 3 minute, 1947 trailer to the movie.
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  • William
    January 1, 1970
    5-Stars! WOW! A masterpiece. The very best Marlowe of all. Great pacing, wonderful progression of events and clues, just enough snappy dialogue, delicious "detective-as-philosopher" quotations, genuine tension and suspense, a sprinkling of red herrings... This is the whole enchilada! Awesome!I brushed my hair and looked at the grey in it. There was getting to be plenty of grey in it. The face under the hair had a sick look. I didn’t like the face at all. I went back to the desk .... I sat very s 5-Stars! WOW! A masterpiece. The very best Marlowe of all. Great pacing, wonderful progression of events and clues, just enough snappy dialogue, delicious "detective-as-philosopher" quotations, genuine tension and suspense, a sprinkling of red herrings... This is the whole enchilada! Awesome!I brushed my hair and looked at the grey in it. There was getting to be plenty of grey in it. The face under the hair had a sick look. I didn’t like the face at all. I went back to the desk .... I sat very still and listened to the evening grow quiet outside the open windows. And very slowly I grew quiet with it.Full size image here, cover by Tom AdamsI particularly enjoy how the clues fit together slowly, progressively throughout. You can see the connections, or think you can *winks* and by the end, it's mostly all there for you. I correctly pieced together 4-5 aspects of the plot, but MISSED the very clever big twist! Awesome!It was a •38 Smith and Wesson on a •44 frame, a wicked weapon with a kick like a •45 and a much greater effective range. I drove on through the piled masses of granite and down through the meadows of coarse grass where cows grazed. The same gaudy slacks and short shorts and peasant handkerchiefs as yesterday, the same light breeze and golden sun and clear blue sky, the same smell of pine needles, the same cool softness of a mountain summer. But yesterday was a hundred years ago, something crystallized in time, like a fly in amber. Notes and Quotes:The upper part of his face meant business. The lower part was just saying good-bye.12.0% .... it's amazing how modern much of the slang is here. Soap opera, beef, hunk, etc 22.0% .... Behind the right-hand lower corner of the windshield there was a white card printed in block capitals. It read: VOTERS, ATTENTION! KEEP JIM PATTON CONSTABLE. HE IS TOO OLD TO GO TO WORK 25.0% ... She put a firm brown hand out and I shook it. Clamping bobbie pins into fat blondes had given her a grip like a pair of iceman’s tongs.30% ...The thing rolled over once more and an arm flapped up barely above the skin of the water and the arm ended in a bloated hand that was the hand of a freak. Then the face came. A swollen pulpy gray white mass without features, without eyes, without mouth. A blotch of gray dough, a nightmare with human hair on it.A heavy necklace of green stone showed on what had been a neck, half imbedded, large rough green stones with something that glittered joining them together.Bill Chess held the handrail and his knuckles were polished bones.“Muriel!” his voice said croakingly. “Sweet Christ, it’s Muriel!”His voice seemed to come to me from a long way off, over a hill, through a thick silent growth of trees. 49.0% .... very good pacing and prose here. A nice rhythm even during the description of rooms, people and clothing. The snappy dialogue is well-balanced. It's the best Marlowe so far imho. 59.0% ... quintessential Chandler ...I brushed my hair and looked at the grey in it. There was getting to be plenty of grey in it. The face under the hair had a sick look. I didn’t like the face at all. I went back to the desk .... I sat very still and listened to the evening grow quiet outside the open windows. And very slowly I grew quiet with it. 63.0% ... this is the kind of detective story I enjoy the most, where the clues come in and slowly fit together, piece by piece throughout the book, building the big picture. There is an info-dump at the end, but it's well-presented. 72.0% ... this is fabulously good stuff..
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  • Dan Schwent
    January 1, 1970
    A rich man hires Phillip Marlowe to find his wife. The trail leads to a resort town and another dead woman. Where is Crystal Kingsley? And who killed Muriel Chess? And what did Chris Lavery or Dr. Almore have to do with it?The Lady in the Lake is a tale of lies, double crosses, cheating woman, murder, and a shop-soiled Galahad named Phillip Marlowe caught in the middle of it. Chander and Marlowe set the standards for slick-talking detectives for generations to come and Marlowe is in fine form in A rich man hires Phillip Marlowe to find his wife. The trail leads to a resort town and another dead woman. Where is Crystal Kingsley? And who killed Muriel Chess? And what did Chris Lavery or Dr. Almore have to do with it?The Lady in the Lake is a tale of lies, double crosses, cheating woman, murder, and a shop-soiled Galahad named Phillip Marlowe caught in the middle of it. Chander and Marlowe set the standards for slick-talking detectives for generations to come and Marlowe is in fine form in this outing, following the serpentine twists of the plot as best he can. Chandler's similes are in fine form, as is Marlowe's banter.Since Raymond Chandler is my favorite of the noir pioneers, I feel guilty for saying this but this thing is so convoluted I stopped caring about the plot about a third of the way in and just stuck around for the Scotch-smooth prose. Seriously, this has to be the most convoluted plot from the master of overly convoluted plots. I had an idea of the connection between the two women but it took forever for everything to come together. Marlowe couldn't be blamed for not cracking the case early on since it read like Raymond Chandler was making it up as he went in between weekend-long benders.To sum it up, the prose is up to par but the plot is a meandering mess. It's barely a 3 and my least favorite Chandler book I've read so far.
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  • Luís C.
    January 1, 1970
    The Chandler mechanics is well oiled: a rich client calls on Marlowe's services and the detective becomes aware from the start of the investigation that he has set foot in a nest of vipers. He's going to have to deal with corrupt policemen and determined gangsters. And he's going to get his head full, once again. And he's going to get his head full, once again. But our private has tough skin and is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Crystal, the wife of Derace Kin The Chandler mechanics is well oiled: a rich client calls on Marlowe's services and the detective becomes aware from the start of the investigation that he has set foot in a nest of vipers. He's going to have to deal with corrupt policemen and determined gangsters. And he's going to get his head full, once again. And he's going to get his head full, once again. But our private has tough skin and is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Crystal, the wife of Derace Kingsley.The survey will be conducted partly in Bay City the villain on the Pacific coast but also in the forest of San Bernardino where Kingsley owns a cottage located by a lake. It is in this lake that the companion of the guardian will resurface after a stay of one month in the depths. The first elements seem to overwhelm the guard, a mutilated alcoholic war, but it is without counting on the sagacity of Philip Marlowe who will seek to disentangle the true from the false ...The story takes place in the middle of the Second World War: rubber is rationed, dams are protected by the Army and at night, Californian cities are subjected to blackout. "The Lady of the Lake" is Chandler's fourth novel, and if there are many redundancies in the plot, they do not tire the reader. The novel is always pleasant to read and strongly advised lovers of polars. A classic that did not take dust.
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4), Raymond Chandler The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring, as do all his major works, the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe. Notable for its removal of Marlowe from his usual Los Angeles environs for much of the book, the novel's complicated plot initially deals with the case of a missing woman in a small mountain town some 80 miles (130 km) from the city. The book was written shortly after the attack on The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4), Raymond Chandler The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring, as do all his major works, the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe. Notable for its removal of Marlowe from his usual Los Angeles environs for much of the book, the novel's complicated plot initially deals with the case of a missing woman in a small mountain town some 80 miles (130 km) from the city. The book was written shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and makes several references to America's recent involvement in World War II.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: پانزدهم ماه نوامبر سال 2001 میلادیعنوان: بانوی دریاچه؛ نویسنده: ریموند چندلر؛ مترجم: کاوه میرعباسی؛ تهران، طرح نو، 1378؛ در 280 ص؛ شابک: 9645625653؛ چاپ دوم 1389؛ شابک: 9789645625656؛ موضوع: داستانهای پلیسی از نویسندگان امریکایی - ماجراهای فلیپ مارلو کتاب 4 - قرن 20 ما. شربیانی
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  • Evgeny
    January 1, 1970
    A rich man asked Philip Marlowe to find his missing wife who presumably ran away to Mexico to get a divorce, but disappeared since then. The search quickly led the private detective to a dead body of another woman with seemingly no connection to the first one, except for them being neighbors. The number of dead bodies rapidly increases as Marlowe tries to get to the bottom of a very complicated mystery while dodging cold-blooded killers, corrupted cops (the level of corruption in Bay City seems A rich man asked Philip Marlowe to find his missing wife who presumably ran away to Mexico to get a divorce, but disappeared since then. The search quickly led the private detective to a dead body of another woman with seemingly no connection to the first one, except for them being neighbors. The number of dead bodies rapidly increases as Marlowe tries to get to the bottom of a very complicated mystery while dodging cold-blooded killers, corrupted cops (the level of corruption in Bay City seems to make that of Chicago during the Prohibition look pale and insignificant in comparison), or just people who like nothing more in their lives than to knock Marlowe out just for the fun of it.I mentioned the complicated plot. This one would make Agatha Christie - the undisputed Queen of Complicated Mystery Plots - extremely envious. During my reading I had to stop several times just to make sure I have a clear picture of what is going on - as clear as Marlowe at the moment has. I really do not need to mention the quality of writing from the acknowledged Master of the genre, but I want to mention characterization. Raymond Chandler is really good at creating memorable characters with minimum amount of space; the best example of this would be Sheriff Patton who is more or less friendly towards Marlowe for a change - unlike the majority of policeman in the series.One more fact need to be mentioned: as time went by Raymond Chandler became more disillusioned in his outlooks on life; his battle with alcohol addiction did not help either. As a result the latter books of the series are somewhat weaker than the first ones. This is probably the last book which fully deserves 5 solid stars. The recommendation for the book is just as usual: if you have even a passing interest in noir mysteries, this is THE series to read, but beware that the number of writers of the genre who approached this level of quality can be counted with fingers on one hand with some left to spare - you might spoil the genre for yourself if you start with Philip Marlowe cases. This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/923599...
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  • Paul E. Morph
    January 1, 1970
    Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering silmite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king! Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!The fact that I can't resist a Monty Python quote aside, the titu Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering silmite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king! Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!The fact that I can't resist a Monty Python quote aside, the titular lady in the lake in Chandler's book is distinctly non-Arthurian. Rather, she is a lovely, rotting corpse who rises up from the depths to make Philip Marlow's day more interesting.This is yet another classic noir gumshoe tale that will delight fans of the hard boiled genre. This has my favourite ending of any of the Marlow books so far. I finished reading this with a big, cheesey grin on my face.To be honest, I hadn't thought I'd finish this book today but a two-and-a-half hour traffic jam had other ideas. Thank goodness for audiobooks...
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  • Sketchbook
    January 1, 1970
    Crystal, Muriel, Mildred, Adrienne and Florence are the women displayed in Chandler's Hall of Mirrors, which begins with the simple case of a missing wife and quickly develops into four murders, plus a Dr Feelgood who feeds his patients drugs; and corrupt cops in Bay City, or Santa Monica, Ca., that Chandler knew all too well. I think he invented the cliche of a coshed character who wakes up with a dead body in the same room. Here it's a stiff femme fatale on the bed and she's only wearing nylon Crystal, Muriel, Mildred, Adrienne and Florence are the women displayed in Chandler's Hall of Mirrors, which begins with the simple case of a missing wife and quickly develops into four murders, plus a Dr Feelgood who feeds his patients drugs; and corrupt cops in Bay City, or Santa Monica, Ca., that Chandler knew all too well. I think he invented the cliche of a coshed character who wakes up with a dead body in the same room. Here it's a stiff femme fatale on the bed and she's only wearing nylons -- a saucy image for the author in 1943 (when nylons were scarce), but it produces visual piquancy. "The minutes went by on tiptoe," Ray avers, "with their fingers to their lips."I understand what's going on -- well, up to a point -- but I couldnt deliver a synopsis that makes sense and it doesnt really matter. The murders have a connective twist and are memorable, like the "Adam's apple that edged through his wing collar and looked harder than most people's chins." Please remember that when Howard Hawks filmed "The Big Sleep," he and his writers had no idea who killed a chauffeur found in a car off Lido pier. Hawks sent Ray a telegram asking whodunit. Ray went through his novel, reflected for some hours, and wired back, "I don't know." Ray and Hawks and readers agree the plot doesnt have to make sense if it's fun. How modern can you get? Plot is just a way of telling a story. Lauded by Brit toffs Edith Sitwell and Cyril Connolly, among others, Chandler knew that overseas he was considered an Author while in the US he was merely a "mystery writer." His language and sentence structure, uniquely his own, have an hypnotic effect on the nervous system: there's a rhythmic tension. Chandler aimed for an emotional quality. It's not the plot, he argued, "it's the richness of texture." And: "The most durable thing in writing is style. Style is a projection of personality and you have to have a personality before you can project it. My kind of writing demands a certain amount of dash and high spirits -- the word is gusto, a quality lacking in modern writing." He wasn't interested in adapting his novels for the screen. He did write one original screenplay, "The Blue Dahlia," but his ending was censored. (The killer could not be a serviceman. So he became the apartment house dick). Yet the noir was a hit. He was pleased. "Good original screenplays are almost as rare in Hollywood as virgins," he said.
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  • Mahdi Lotfi
    January 1, 1970
    رمانهای چندلر پیش از آنکه داستانهای پلیسی باشند آثار ادبی هستند . او می گفت : رنگ مایه داستان ، به غیر از عامل معما ، باید از کشش دراماتیک و محتوای غنی انسانی برخوردار باشد. چندلر ، در عین حال که خشونت و حادثه را به فضای داستانهایش راه می دهد ، از تشریح محیط اجتماعی و توصیف تحولات روانی شخصیت هایش نیز غافل نمی شود. داستانهای او برخوردار از روایت پردازی ساده و بی پیرایه ، همراه با تصاویری شاعرانه و طنزی غافلگیر کننده است . بانوی دریاچه چهارمین رمان بلند چندلر است و از بهترین آثار او به شمار می آی رمانهای چندلر پیش از آنکه داستانهای پلیسی باشند آثار ادبی هستند . او می گفت : رنگ مایه داستان ، به غیر از عامل معما ، باید از کشش دراماتیک و محتوای غنی انسانی برخوردار باشد. چندلر ، در عین حال که خشونت و حادثه را به فضای داستانهایش راه می دهد ، از تشریح محیط اجتماعی و توصیف تحولات روانی شخصیت هایش نیز غافل نمی شود. داستانهای او برخوردار از روایت پردازی ساده و بی پیرایه ، همراه با تصاویری شاعرانه و طنزی غافلگیر کننده است . بانوی دریاچه چهارمین رمان بلند چندلر است و از بهترین آثار او به شمار می آید . مضمون این داستان برای چندلر جذابیتی خاص داشت : او ابتدا ، در 1939 ، آن را به صورت داستانی کوتاه به چاپ رساند . در 1943 ، با بسط دادن هسته اصلی داستان ، رمان بانوی دریاچه را به شکل کنونی اش پدید آورد. استقبال خوانندگان از این رمان سبب شد که در 1946 کمپانی مترو گلدوین مایر فیلمی از روی آن بسازد . کارگردان و بازیگر نقش اصلی فیلم رابرت مونتگمری بود.ماجرای این داستان پلیسی مربوط به خانواده((دریس کینگسلی)) است .شخصی به نام ((مارلو)) از طرف ستوان((مک گی)) و به سفارش آقای((دریس کینگسلی)) مامور می‌شود تا همسر((دریس)) را که به تازگی ناپدید شده بیابد .((دریس)) تلگرافی را به((مارلو)) نشان می‌دهد که همسرش هنگام رفتن برای او فرستاده بود .متن تلگراف چنین بود از راه مرز می‌روم مکزیک طلاق بگیرم .با((گریس)) ازدواج خواهم کرد .خوشبخت باشی .کریستال)) بدین ترتیب مارلو تحقیقاتش را آغاز می‌کند و .....
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  • StoryTellerShannon
    January 1, 1970
    More Marlowe with double-crossing and the usual twists and turns that I like/love in this series.Audio narration by Elliot Gould. OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus.
  • Toby
    January 1, 1970
    Marlowe but not as I remember him.I generally love Chandler's style and specifically love Marlowe as a wise-cracking hard-boiled PI but for me there was something not up to speed with this book.Aside from the fact that I knew exactly how the narrative would play out thanks to the mighty obvious use of the genre staple of portraits and doubles meaning every incident in between felt like a lazy attempt at placing red herrings there was so little in the way of great dialogue and internal monologue Marlowe but not as I remember him.I generally love Chandler's style and specifically love Marlowe as a wise-cracking hard-boiled PI but for me there was something not up to speed with this book.Aside from the fact that I knew exactly how the narrative would play out thanks to the mighty obvious use of the genre staple of portraits and doubles meaning every incident in between felt like a lazy attempt at placing red herrings there was so little in the way of great dialogue and internal monologue that I wondered just what had happened to Marlowe; this could have been the story of any old gumshoe. The fact that this was combined with the middle class murder standards meant I really didn't care about the solution.As everyone knows Chandler's pretty good at describing; things, places, people, incidents, they're all wonderfully described but beyond that I really don't have anything positive to say about the book.Weak. No wonder Hollywood only made one fatal attempt to adapt this one. Although kudos to Robert Montgomery for trying something completely different with his direction.
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  • Darwin8u
    January 1, 1970
    I should probably slow down on calling Raymond Chander a god. Novelists who write so damn well (and there are few of those) must sometimes tire of both hyperbole and the undersell too. Look. This isn't my favorite Chandler or my favorite Marlowe, and the Great and Glorious Chandler doesn't deviate too far from his script (Rich, difficult clients >> wise-cracking PI >> dame >> cops >> drinks >> California >> dead bodies >> Marlowe close to the line >&g I should probably slow down on calling Raymond Chander a god. Novelists who write so damn well (and there are few of those) must sometimes tire of both hyperbole and the undersell too. Look. This isn't my favorite Chandler or my favorite Marlowe, and the Great and Glorious Chandler doesn't deviate too far from his script (Rich, difficult clients >> wise-cracking PI >> dame >> cops >> drinks >> California >> dead bodies >> Marlowe close to the line >> Marlowe over the line >> Marlowe wraps it all up and still fills like crap about it). But he does it so well. This is a formula that gets tried again and again by almost every new detective or Noir writer on the planet and 99 percent don't even get close. But Chander owns it. His counterrotated prose is like a literary quadruple lutz that he lands again and again and again. He is predictable, pretty and dear GOD nearly perfect every single time.
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  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    "Police business," he said almost gently, "is a hell of a problem. It's a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men . So we have to work with what we get— and we get things like this."A man’s wife is missing and Philip Marlowe is hired to find her. When his search leads him to the discovery of a different dead woman, the self-proclaimed "Murder-A-Day Marlowe" has questions and by God, people are going to answer them "Police business," he said almost gently, "is a hell of a problem. It's a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men . So we have to work with what we get— and we get things like this."A man’s wife is missing and Philip Marlowe is hired to find her. When his search leads him to the discovery of a different dead woman, the self-proclaimed "Murder-A-Day Marlowe" has questions and by God, people are going to answer them.I don’t really have a lot to say about this one other than Chandler is in fine form when it comes to quick-witted smart talk ("I said, just to be moving my mouth") with tremendous one-liners and similes. Chandler really gives Marlowe a beating in this one, it’s a wonder he can stand at the end after all the blackjack shots and slugs to the face. I’m sure he wonders at times if it’s really worth it.Of the four Marlowe novels I've read so far, I felt The Lady In The Lake had one of the more coherent, easy-to-follow plots – that is up until the end anyway. While developments seem to uncover rapidly (honestly, Marlowe solves this thing in two days tops) and everything eventually ties together in the end, it felt pretty far fetched when summing it up. That isn't to say it’s a bad book; it’s as many have stated in the past, no one really reads Chandler for the plot and when the dust settled, this novel was perfect evidence to back that statement up.Also posted @ Every Read Thing.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Come l’immagine di copertina ed il titolo del libro fanno capire, “cerchez la femme”, o meglio “les femmes”, perché la trama gira intorno a due donne scomparse, ambedue donne fatali, mangiatrici di uomini, alla ricerca del pollo ricco da spennare senza disdegnare amanti poveri ma belli. Marlowe investiga a modo suo, con la sua Chrysler si aggira tra Bay City, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, con l’ironia che lo contraddistingue Chandler accompagna il lettore lungo le strade della California, tra pol Come l’immagine di copertina ed il titolo del libro fanno capire, “cerchez la femme”, o meglio “les femmes”, perché la trama gira intorno a due donne scomparse, ambedue donne fatali, mangiatrici di uomini, alla ricerca del pollo ricco da spennare senza disdegnare amanti poveri ma belli. Marlowe investiga a modo suo, con la sua Chrysler si aggira tra Bay City, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, con l’ironia che lo contraddistingue Chandler accompagna il lettore lungo le strade della California, tra poliziotti corrotti, infermiere compiacenti, medici senza scrupoli, mariti infedeli, incrociando anche un poliziotto tutto di un pezzo quale lo sceriffo Patton, alla cui presenza si svolge la scena finale del libro, ricca di suspense, praticamente perfetta per un noir che si rispetti.Questi hard boiled d’annata mi piacciono un casino!
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  • Mish
    January 1, 1970
    I came to reading this book because I needed something to read for my Literary Exploration challenge, Hardboiled genre. Never having read this type of genre before, I had refer to my bookish friend, Michael Kitto, for help. He recommended The Lady in the Lake as an introduction too the well known and respected Private Investigator, Philip Marlowe, and to this genre. I can see from several reviews that this was a very popular choice for first timers like me. In this book Marlowe was employed by a I came to reading this book because I needed something to read for my Literary Exploration challenge, Hardboiled genre. Never having read this type of genre before, I had refer to my bookish friend, Michael Kitto, for help. He recommended The Lady in the Lake as an introduction too the well known and respected Private Investigator, Philip Marlowe, and to this genre. I can see from several reviews that this was a very popular choice for first timers like me. In this book Marlowe was employed by a wealthy business man Derace Kingsley to look for his missing wife Crystal. Derace didn’t really want Crystal back, as she had a reputation of being a loose woman, but wanted to keep track of her and perhaps avoid any pubic disgrace on his behalf. Marlowe investigation takes him to a cottage in the mountains owned by the Kingsley’s. It is there he discovers another disappearance of the neighbour’s wife and corpse lying at the bottom of the lake of one of the missing women.Initially I thought it was slow to begin with as Marlowe tends to describe, in fine detail everything in his path, but I soon discovered it’s how Marlowe works. He tends to analyze everything from the landscape, to the body language of his suspects and once I knew how he works, I was able to go with the flow and was really enjoying it.Raymond Chandler has bought this honest to goodness, no bullshit PI to life through his writing, and I can truly see why he’s so well liked. Marlowe is definitely a delightful odd ball that smokes like a chimney, and drinks an excessive amount of alcohol that I’m perplexed as to how he can fully function the next morning. He has an unorthodox method of interrogation, which usually involves pouring large quantity of liquor to the person being questioned. And by that time, they are off their face and are more than ready to reveal anything to him. Marlowe is honest person but far too out spoken which can sometimes be a concern. Whether it is intentional or not, but Marlowe out spoken nature to others has occasionally provoked a hostile and violent response, that’s left Marlowe many times beaten and bruised.The mystery is not an edge of your seat, but it was an intriguing and somewhat complex murder mystery with several twist and turns. After the first murder is committed, more murdered bodies would surface, there’s a cover up and all these characters involved had a possible motive one way or the other. I knew that all these incidence where connected somehow, but it was just a matter of forming a connection in my own mind. However it wasn’t until the end that I actually found out who done it. I have already tried my hands on a Noir novel and really enjoyed it and if this is a taste of what Hardboiled is like then I’m sold. I thought it was a magnificent novel. I will definitely read more of Marlowe at some stage and perhaps start from the beginning and read The Big Sleep next.
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  • Ana
    January 1, 1970
    Passei por uma fase da minha vida (bastante prolongada) em que devorava policiais e dizia ser este um dos meus géneros preferidos. Uma fase que começou na adolescência, com a descoberta de Sherlock Holmes e terminou no início da idade adulta mais ou menos por volta dos meus 19 anos.Nessa altura, comecei a achar que os policiais eram sempre "mais do mesmo", entretenimento olvidável, livros que pouco me acrescentavam enquanto pessoa e abandonei-os por completo para fazer leituras que eu julgava ma Passei por uma fase da minha vida (bastante prolongada) em que devorava policiais e dizia ser este um dos meus géneros preferidos. Uma fase que começou na adolescência, com a descoberta de Sherlock Holmes e terminou no início da idade adulta mais ou menos por volta dos meus 19 anos.Nessa altura, comecei a achar que os policiais eram sempre "mais do mesmo", entretenimento olvidável, livros que pouco me acrescentavam enquanto pessoa e abandonei-os por completo para fazer leituras que eu julgava mais "enriquecedoras". Hoje em dia, a minha opinião é a do equilíbrio. A literatura tanto pode ser , deve ser, e é ... as duas coisas: entretenimento e descoberta, aprendizagem e desenvolvimento e a diversificação das nossas leituras permitirá ao máximo tentar alcançar todas as dimensões que a mesma nos pode oferecer.Dito isto, a verdade é que essa minha paixão antiga nunca esmoreceu e fico sempre muito feliz quando um título policial surge na minha lista de livros a serem lidos. O problema é que o LinkedBooks normalmente me remete para estes policiais clássicos, que foram exactamente os que me fizeram "cansar" um pouco do género, e neste caso aquilo que eu esperava que fosse este livro veio a concretizar-se.É um bom policial clássico. O detective, personagem central desta história e desta série (Philip Marlow) é o que a história tem de mais marcante, mas não me marcou pela positiva. Já o "conhecia de outras andanças" ou seja de outros livros dos quais não me recordo. Como disse atrás os enredos destes livros são normalmente muito interessantes, mas são entretenimento puro que se esquece com muita facilidade. É o caso também deste. Um bom enredo, intrincado com vários twists, mas...mais do mesmo para quem já leu muitos policiais deste género. A verdade é que muito cedo na história adivinhei o final, como já me acontecia amiúde antigamente. Não gostei da época em que o livro decorria, deste "macho" detective rude e sem nenhuma característica especial a evidenciar, que se enche a todo o momento de uisque e cigarros. A escrita do autor é crua e rude como o protagonista, bem simples e que vai bem com este enredo, mas sempre que tenta embelezar a sua escrita com descrições ou com metáforas parece-me forçado e desastroso. Enfim, muito datado, muito "macho lit", muito "american private eye bullshit" e afinal para contar uma história que se adivinha logo quase de início como vai terminar.Gostaria realmente de voltar a deliciar-me com policiais e thrillers, mas não será a voltar ao que já conheço que isso irá acontecer. Não aconselho a leitura deste livro, mas não é uma má leitura. Um policial clássico mediano é como o vejo. Serve para passar um bom bocado a ler e esquecer passado uns meses, ficando só o "macho Marlowe" (infelizmente) na memória.
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  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    I came across this little treasure when I was browsing through the local public library. This book is my introduction to PI Philip Marlowe, who worked in and throughout the Los Angeles area. The book was originally published in 1943, and I must say I was just astounded by Chandler's writing style. He uses a lot of arcane terminology such as the word "perambulator" to describe people who are basically window shopping or sight seeing at Puma Lake where he ended up because he was hired by a busines I came across this little treasure when I was browsing through the local public library. This book is my introduction to PI Philip Marlowe, who worked in and throughout the Los Angeles area. The book was originally published in 1943, and I must say I was just astounded by Chandler's writing style. He uses a lot of arcane terminology such as the word "perambulator" to describe people who are basically window shopping or sight seeing at Puma Lake where he ended up because he was hired by a business owner to find his missing wife. She had been missing for over two months and her husband received a short note stating she was going to obtain a Mexico divorce and marry her gigolo boyfriend. She had last been seen in the Puma Lake area in the mountains east of San Bernardino. Marlowe is ambivalent about the case, but the man offered him enough money to take the case and he had nothing else he was working on at the time. He goes to the Puma Lake area and contacts Bill Chess, the caretaker of the resort, who is married to Muriel, who has also disappeared. Bill is an alcoholic who is deeply in love with his wife, but also very possessive. He tells Marlowe that he vaguely remembers seeing someone like the missing business owner's wife, so Marlowe has copies of photos of her distributed. When Chess and Marlowe are at the boat dock talking about the situation, deep down in the clear water, they see what they think is what is a human arm. Bill himself dives into the water, and slowly brings the body up. He is weeping because he recognizes his wife, Muriel. The other missing woman, Crystal Kingsley, had had basically a marriage of convenience with her husband Derace. Several people in the area thought they had seen her, but her clothes and hair color varied from witness to witness. She had been hanging out with her gigolo boyfriend, Chris Lavery. Strangely enough, when Marlowe goes down to Los Angeles to interview Lavery the second time, he finds his body in the shower. He had been shot five times; the first three missed him, the last two were shot close to his chest in the wall of the shower, and of course he is dead. Why? Well that is what Marlowe is determined to find out, and he does. This is a story of a selfish and ruthless woman, who will go to any length to get what she wants. I thought the story was well written and I think the thing that surprised me the most about it is that there is not one word of profanity in the whole book, although the author has the skills to convey the rawness and ugliness of the story to the reader. One just does not see that enough these days with several words of profanity on just about every page. Part of this has to do with the evolution of the crime noir genre in writing (modern authors, rightly or wrongly, seem to think that a lot of profanity is needed to tell a dark and ugly story). I enjoyed the book very much and will try to read other books Chandler has written. I have read a lot of the Agatha Christie novels, but somehow I missed the ones that were written by men. I intend to fill in the holes of the unread books I somehow missed.
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  • Tim Orfanos
    January 1, 1970
    Μια από τις πιο ολοκληρωμένες προσπάθειες και ένα από τα πιο ενδιαφέροντα, κατά τη γνώμη μου, βιβλία του Chandler, το οποίο επιδρά στον αναγνώστη με ένα μυστικιστικό τρόπο.Στο πρώτο μισό του βιβλίου (είναι και το καλύτερο από θέμα ροής), ο Chandler γοητεύει και ταυτόχρονα προξενεί μια στοιχειωτική αίσθηση φόβου και πανικού, όταν περιγράφει το σκληρό και 'παγωμένο τοπίο της λίμνης, η οποία κρύβει μέσα στα 'φονικά' νερά της ένα πτώμα γυναίκας σε αποσύνθεση. Ο συγγραφικό τόνος παραπέμπει σε αστυνομ Μια από τις πιο ολοκληρωμένες προσπάθειες και ένα από τα πιο ενδιαφέροντα, κατά τη γνώμη μου, βιβλία του Chandler, το οποίο επιδρά στον αναγνώστη με ένα μυστικιστικό τρόπο.Στο πρώτο μισό του βιβλίου (είναι και το καλύτερο από θέμα ροής), ο Chandler γοητεύει και ταυτόχρονα προξενεί μια στοιχειωτική αίσθηση φόβου και πανικού, όταν περιγράφει το σκληρό και 'παγωμένο τοπίο της λίμνης, η οποία κρύβει μέσα στα 'φονικά' νερά της ένα πτώμα γυναίκας σε αποσύνθεση. Ο συγγραφικό τόνος παραπέμπει σε αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα μυστηρίου, ενώ αρχίζει να παίζεται ένα παιχνίδι χαρακτήρων στο οποίο η πραγματική ταυτότητα των ηρώων, εμμέσως, αμφισβητείται.Στο δεύτερο μισό, ο Chandler επιστρέφει στα γνώριμα hard-boiled μονοπάτια για να μπορέσει να συμπληρώσει το τελευταίο κομμάτι στο παζλ του αστυνομικού γρίφου, και να δώσει μια λύση, η οποία μέχρι το τέλος κρύβει, συνέχεια, ανατροπές.Οι διάλογοι είναι έξυπνοι, οι περιγραφές της λίμνης και των τοπίων θυμίζουν 'γοτθικό' θρίλερ, ενώ όλοι οι ήρωες σε αυτό το βιβλίο παρουσιάζουν σκοτεινές πλευρές και είναι ένοχοι για κάποια πράξη τους. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι ο συγγραφέας παίζει πολύ έξυπνα με το θέμα της μεταμφίεσης και της πλαστοπροσωπίας, ενώ επιβεβαιώνει το μύθο για τις 'femmes fatales' και τις 'vamps' εκείνης της εποχής.Ο Chandler χρησιμοποίησε στο βιβλίο καί τροποποιημένα κομμάτια από την σύντομη νουβέλα του, 'Bay City Blues' που προηγήθηκε, αφού έτσι κι αλλιώς ' Η Κυρία της Λίμνης' διαδραματίζεται μεταξύ άλλων καί στο Bay City.Βαθμολογία: 4/5 ή 8/10.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Private Investigator Philip Marlowe was hired by Derace Kingsley to find his missing wife, Crystal – she had been missing for a month after contacting him from their cabin via telegram to say she was going to divorce him and marry Chris Lavery. Kingsley was concerned enough to want her found – Marlowe started his investigation not realizing how deeply he would become involved, how many webs would wind their way throughout quite a number of lives.With a little help from a country sheriff by the n Private Investigator Philip Marlowe was hired by Derace Kingsley to find his missing wife, Crystal – she had been missing for a month after contacting him from their cabin via telegram to say she was going to divorce him and marry Chris Lavery. Kingsley was concerned enough to want her found – Marlowe started his investigation not realizing how deeply he would become involved, how many webs would wind their way throughout quite a number of lives.With a little help from a country sheriff by the name of Patton, the mystery deepened when Marlowe discovered there was another woman missing – but they had nothing to do with one another – did they? As the hours passed, and then the days, instead of finding answers he continued to find more questions…This is my first Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe book and I read it on recommendation of a couple of friends. I enjoyed it very much; I like the style of writing and the laid back and laconic air of Marlowe. Some excellent twists throughout, the detective prowess of Marlowe reminds me a little of M Poirot from Murder on the Orient Express, which I read recently. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to all mystery/crime lovers.
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  • Pamela Mclaren
    January 1, 1970
    If you love the time period of the 40s and gritty film noir, there is no better storyteller than Raymond Chandler. This is a book where the dames are beautiful but wicked — or dead, the men are big and shifty, and the story is definitely twisted.This time around, Chandler's independent private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to locate a flighty and missing wife. He tracks her to a small community up in the mountains but the body in the lake is ID'd as the wife of another man, a man who has implied t If you love the time period of the 40s and gritty film noir, there is no better storyteller than Raymond Chandler. This is a book where the dames are beautiful but wicked — or dead, the men are big and shifty, and the story is definitely twisted.This time around, Chandler's independent private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to locate a flighty and missing wife. He tracks her to a small community up in the mountains but the body in the lake is ID'd as the wife of another man, a man who has implied that he has slept with the missing wife.That mystery sends Marlowe back hunting for the connections between the missing wife, the lady in the lake and a doctor's wife who died more than a year ago. And there is only one investigator who can put the clues all together.This is classic mystery and detective fiction. And a winner. Walk, don't run and then settle in for a period of intense reading. Its a very good ride.
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  • Maria João Fernandes
    January 1, 1970
    "Chandler escreve como se a dor doesse e a vida importasse."A "Dama do Lago" conta-nos mais uma história com Philip Marlowe. Tudo começa quando o detetive privado é contratado para encontrar uma pessoa desaparecida. Contudo, o que começa por parecer um caso como muitos outros, revela-se numa série de crimes relacionados entre si.Os crimes descritos neste livro são cometidos pelo mesmo tipo de pessoas que os comentem na vida real. O enredo é surrealmente real: os criminosos usam armas. A verdade "Chandler escreve como se a dor doesse e a vida importasse."A "Dama do Lago" conta-nos mais uma história com Philip Marlowe. Tudo começa quando o detetive privado é contratado para encontrar uma pessoa desaparecida. Contudo, o que começa por parecer um caso como muitos outros, revela-se numa série de crimes relacionados entre si.Os crimes descritos neste livro são cometidos pelo mesmo tipo de pessoas que os comentem na vida real. O enredo é surrealmente real: os criminosos usam armas. A verdade é que é a forma mais simples de matar alguém. O envenenamento é um método complicado (ainda que exótico e limpo), arranjar substâncias que resultem não é simples; o estrangulamento é muito difícil, exige força física; o esfaqueamento é demasiado sujo e demorado e o espancamento até à morte ainda pior. Quanto aos criminosos, não têm passados incrivelmente dramáticos ou excecionais. Simplesmente ultrapassaram os limites da moralidade. Por fim, o caso é resolvido por um homem competente - afinal de contas, o que Marlowe tem mais é experiência profissional - em vez de um amador (herói típico, ajudado pela sorte e pelo karma devido a sua imensa bondade).Como já é característico do Raymond Chandler, o livro foca-se, principalmente, na forma como as personagens se relacionam entre si e como Marlowe encaixa as diferentes peças do mistério. A verdade é alcançada, mas não há floreados e Marlowe nunca tem a vida facilitada.Los Angeles é uma cidade de gansters. Apesar de estes não estarem presentes neste caso de Marlowe, tive o prazer de conhecer um médico patife, cujos clientes mais assíduos têm uma afeição especial por drogas e um polícia corrupto, que privilegia o uso da violência e das palavras feias.Como todos os livros do Philip Marlowe, a "Dama do Lago" é narrada na primeira pessoa, tornando quase natural a empatia com o detetive privado. À medida que Marlowe revela a corrupção e novos crimes acontecem, seguimos o desenrolar dos acontecimentos ao lado dele. Desta forma, ao ver o que os seus olhos veem, torna-se impossível desviarmos as nossas mentes da ação.Philip Marlowe é um detetive privado famoso e há motivos para isso. Ele é um homem leal, honesto, corajoso, inteligente e determinado. Acima de tudo, é um homem de carne e osso, que tem tantos defeitos quanto qualidade. Marlowe não é nenhum santo. Gosto de beber e se envolver com raparigas bonitas. Acrescenta-se o seu sentido de humor fantástico e temos uma personagem inesquecível.Aproveito para recomendar o filme "Lady in the Lake" de 1947, do realizador Robert Montgomery. É uma adaptação cinematográfica bastante interessante deste livro, e o facto de não ser fiel à história original só lhe confere mais qualidade.
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  • João Barradas
    January 1, 1970
    Quando pensamos em romance policial noir, as imagens que surgem na nossa mente apresentam um tom escuro, num ambiente esfumado, sem grande definição do certo e do errado… como se algum ópio brotasse das suas páginas e nos embargasse o espírito.Omitindo a expressão funesta e proibida de “investigação de casos de divórcio”, a trama centra-se num conjunto de casos de homicídio, perpetrados de forma sobejamente encadeada, com um ponto em comum: a associação a femmes fatalles, que quais devoradoras d Quando pensamos em romance policial noir, as imagens que surgem na nossa mente apresentam um tom escuro, num ambiente esfumado, sem grande definição do certo e do errado… como se algum ópio brotasse das suas páginas e nos embargasse o espírito.Omitindo a expressão funesta e proibida de “investigação de casos de divórcio”, a trama centra-se num conjunto de casos de homicídio, perpetrados de forma sobejamente encadeada, com um ponto em comum: a associação a femmes fatalles, que quais devoradoras do pomo do Éden, pretendem tomar as rédeas da sua própria vida, numa espiral descendente de jogo, prazer e luxúria.Num tom irónico (por vezes confuso quer pela fuga de ideias desmesurada quer pela alucinante aventura da leitura “emparelhada” em castelhano), provavelmente pelo desinibimento garantido pelo álcool, sente-se um espicaçar constante da atenção de todos os que querem ouvir/ ler, fazendo por despertar as capacidades observacionais e a simples curiosidade (exceptuando a dos médicos, ao que parece…).Sem toldar um pensamento lógico, é, no entanto, feita uma assaz crítica à conduta da justiça que, sendo cega, não olha a meios para atingir os seus fins (monetários, sobretudo), independente de estes serem ou não aqueles que devem reger o seu julgamento final.No fim, o móbil de todos os crimes reside numa simples emoção inoculada no mais profundo âmago do nosso cérebro: o amor (a tudo e todas as coisas), a la crime passional....e, sem nos darmos conta, mais corpos de amantes vão surgindo do pântano nauseabundo da corrupção!
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    I’m slowly making my way through the Philip Marlowe books in order and I have to say I didn’t think this one was up to scratch. The dialogue and similes were as witty as ever but the plot was so convoluted. I thought maybe it was because I was listening along on audio, but looking at other reviews, several readers agree about the convoluted storyline. Still plan to complete the series though because- you know- Philip Marlowe.
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  • Steffan
    January 1, 1970
    I've read this book now three times in as many months. More times in as many years. The first time I read it, years ago, I was nineteen. Much older now, I had to come back with a different perspective and try to see what Raymond Chandler was really up to. Entertaining the reader wasn't the point. Sending Marlowe into another violent beat down, like some of the other books, wasn't the point. Chasing down the mystery man, or woman, wasn't the point either.I can say this. Raymond Chandler, for thos I've read this book now three times in as many months. More times in as many years. The first time I read it, years ago, I was nineteen. Much older now, I had to come back with a different perspective and try to see what Raymond Chandler was really up to. Entertaining the reader wasn't the point. Sending Marlowe into another violent beat down, like some of the other books, wasn't the point. Chasing down the mystery man, or woman, wasn't the point either.I can say this. Raymond Chandler, for those paying attention, penned a social portrait of the relationship that the public had with the police department at the time. This is a Dickensian social commentary on the the differences of two small town (at the time) police Departments. Santa Monica PD and Lake Arrowhead Sheriff's Deputies versus the public. What you get is two polar opposites.The book before this, my personal favourite, The High Window, also has an incredibly dark take of the Los Angeles Police Department during the late 30s early 40s. The Lady In The Lake though is to The High Window as what a film is to a snapshot. This being the film.Conan Doyle once stated as Holmes:"It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside." [The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) Sherlock Holmes in "The Copper Beeches" (Doubleday p. 323)]I would place a heavy wager that after The High Window came out, some of his critics were probably roasting him for his heavy-handed and dark portraits of the LAPD, which were likely too spot-on and were trying to deflect a bit for them and making the exact same point that Doyle made. I would imagine this novel is the response to that, and from that context, this book reads like a chess move. Knight to Kings' 4. I would also imagine that he was probably hearing it getting louder throughout his career. If you've read the earlier books in the series, then you'll know exactly what I'm speaking of here. And yes, Chandler was very much aware and concerned in regards to his critics.One of the more interesting aspects of this story, is that every single Police Officer or Law Enforcement official is an archetypal figure. A known stereotype lifted straight from the modern vernacular of that day. These days, Police procedural are no big whoop. But back then, you'd be hard pressed to find a plethora of them or any as scathing. With high-profile crimes like Black Dahlia and many others, as well as folks like Weegee (Arthur Fellig), Los Angeles really was a hot-bed for corruption and cops who would sap a man dead rather than fill out a tiresome form.(Sheriff) Patton up at Puma Lake & Little Fawn lake (Arrowhead & Big Bear Lake) is the indomitable, savvy veteran Sheriff who suffers no fools but wastes no energy being impolite. When you think you have him figured, you'd guess wrong.Degarmo is the text-book ne'er-do-well who roughs people up, frames poor saps who cross his path and busts people he doesn't like for intoxication and saps them on the back of the skull. He's like the bad guy out of every detective novel with a badge. Sneer included. Toothpick and quick-draw intact. Every instance on the page of this character has the reader cringing from Degarmo's behaviour, choice of words and inappropriate decisions.Webber, Chief over in Santa Monica - or Bay City as Chandler always referred to it, is the out of touch, administrative, trusting General who probably doesn't know half the business his men are getting into and is usually late to the scene on every occasion. He becomes an interesting character, quickly, once he's unearthed. It's curious that Chandler writes so snidely though about Santa Monica Police of this era, but perhaps he knew something back then that we don't, as readers, have a bead on anymore.Someone's going to mince words with me about Bay City being Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades, but in this context, we know that Chandler was writing about Santa Monica, while some of the victims did reside in Pac Palisades. Hope that clarifies it.All the other detectives and beat patrolmen do nothing but ratchet up the tension with every appearance.So much ground is covered in this book, in such a detailed manner, that the reader never sees any of it coming and the idea of stays well camouflaged throughout most of the book. You think Chandler is trying to tell a complex story about a Doctor's wife that he might've worked out backwards, first, in order to write it out artfully, but I think that would lead down the wrong mountain path.The plot becomes so convoluted in fact, that it takes almost four pages towards the end, without much dialogue or paragraph breaks to explain how it all ended up the way it did. When it does, you're left not just scratching your head a bit, but a tad dazed. It's a mouthful of explanation that reads more like Agatha Christie than it does Raymond Chandler.He was on top of his game during this period and I doubt that something so obvious, at least to me, wasn't his main aim. Chandler was a master story teller and the Dickens' of his age. Chandler was writing very detailed essays during this era about the very thing that I've highlighted in this review. Social commentary in fiction. He also wrote a lot about Charles Dickens and was a definite fan.I don't think I'm the first person to state that the overall story is pretty ludicrous. By the time you get 170 pages in, if you're not smelling the set up, then you probably just coast through books half asleep as it is. Reading like it's some form of sedative while you're curled up in bed after a long day. That's not a crime, but it does set the reader up for only a quarter of the message of the book. Some people like it like that though...."Police business is a hell of a problem. It's a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there's nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So we have to work with what we get." -- Webber to Marlowe...."I'm all done with hating you. It's all washed out of me. I hate people hard, but I don't hate them very long." -- Marlowe to Degarmo....
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  • Mohammad Ali
    January 1, 1970
    مهمترین ویژگی این داستان که فراموش نشدنیه، میزان کشش اونه. من هر بار که می خواستم خوندن بقیه شو بندازم برای فردا باید خودمو ازش می کندم. و این برای هر نویسنده یه موفقیته. نمی تونم بگم همه ی نظریات مارلو یا حرفاش در مورد رد این یا اون نظریه به دلم - و مهمتر به عقلم - نشست اما موقعیت های واقعی و انسانی داستان و لحن خودمونی و طنزآمیزش - حداقل تا اون حدی که در ترجمه منتقل شده بود - اصلا نمی ذاشت با داستان حس غریبگی کنی - برخلاف امثال شرلوک هلمز. این رو باید اذعان کنم که داستان دیگه خیلی قتل تو قتل ش مهمترین ویژگی این داستان که فراموش نشدنیه، میزان کشش اونه. من هر بار که می خواستم خوندن بقیه شو بندازم برای فردا باید خودمو ازش می کندم. و این برای هر نویسنده یه موفقیته. نمی تونم بگم همه ی نظریات مارلو یا حرفاش در مورد رد این یا اون نظریه به دلم - و مهمتر به عقلم - نشست اما موقعیت های واقعی و انسانی داستان و لحن خودمونی و طنزآمیزش - حداقل تا اون حدی که در ترجمه منتقل شده بود - اصلا نمی ذاشت با داستان حس غریبگی کنی - برخلاف امثال شرلوک هلمز. این رو باید اذعان کنم که داستان دیگه خیلی قتل تو قتل شد اما به هر حال این جنایت بار بودن زدگی ای در من ایجاد نمی کرد. من یکی که به چندلر علاقه مند شدمحاشیه: از مضحک ترین بخش های داستان قصه ی پیدا شدن اون دستمال گردن خال خالی کینگسلی در صحنه ی جنایت و بحث مارلو با دگارمون سر اون بود؛ بعد کلی بحث و حرف آخرش مارلو بهش گفت این گردن من بوده. انگار نویسنده خواسته یه حرفایی رو بذاره تو دهن دگارمون واسش جا پیدا نکرده یه موقعیت تخیلی ساخته که طرف حرفاشو بزنه
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  • Carla Remy
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful. This was my third time reading The Lady in the Lake. I find it engaging and effective, more than some of the other Philip Marlowe books even. The mystery seems convoluted then simple and it gets me every time (though it's fairly easy to guess, I suppose). I never try to guess the solution, and memory is funny - the way I'll remember so much of the story but not the end.
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  • Nancy Oakes
    January 1, 1970
    Cutting right to the chase, the fourth novel in Chandler's Marlowe series begins with a missing wife. Degrace Kingsley, a businessman in the perfume business, hires Marlowe to find his wife Crystal. Although they'd been "washed up for years," Kingsley needs Marlowe to find her to make sure she hasn't done anything scandalous to reflect back on him. The last time he knew Crystal's actual whereabouts was a month earlier, when she was staying at their cabin up at at Little Fawn Lake at Puma Point. Cutting right to the chase, the fourth novel in Chandler's Marlowe series begins with a missing wife. Degrace Kingsley, a businessman in the perfume business, hires Marlowe to find his wife Crystal. Although they'd been "washed up for years," Kingsley needs Marlowe to find her to make sure she hasn't done anything scandalous to reflect back on him. The last time he knew Crystal's actual whereabouts was a month earlier, when she was staying at their cabin up at at Little Fawn Lake at Puma Point. Marlowe travels there, meets Kingsley's alcoholic caretaker, Bill Chess, whose wife has also disappeared. Not a believer in coincidence, Marlowe decides that he needs to look into both cases, and finds a lot more than he expected. Things in Los Angeles have changed a bit since the time of The High Window. Chandler makes a number of references to the war starting with the very first sentence of the novel, as a sidewalk in front of Kingsley's office building, made of "black and white rubber blocks" is being dismantled to go the government. Later, he notes that armed sentries are standing guard at the dam at Puma (read Big Bear) Lake, "at each end and one in the middle." Marlowe runs into a woman who walked to her destination to save her tires for the government. Men are waiting to hear about their enlistment. At the same time, some things have remained the same: crooked cops, murder, blackmail, illegal gambling and drugs are still in action in the city. There's another big difference in this book that sets it apart as well -- a good deal of action takes place away from LA, up in the mountains where life is much slower, where deer walk unimpeded, where people are actually nice, and where rudeness is conspicuous and not appreciated. It's an entirely different world, just a few hours' drive from the city. The Lady in the Lake is quite intriguing, and although isn't my favorite of the Marlowe novels so far, Chandler is still very much on top of his game here. The same wisecracks and witty turns of phrase are still in play. Marlowe continues to try to hold on to his own moral compass while having to resort to less than ethical means to find the bad guys. And while there is a basic formula shared by all of these novels -- Marlowe being hired, Marlowe bumping into peripheral cases that somehow tie to his own investigations and get him into some sort of trouble -- each book is different in its own way. Normally when crime novels get formulaic I get bored. For some reason, that's just not the case with these books -- between Chandler's writing, his focus not just on Marlowe but the other characters as well, and the way he describes Marlowe's Los Angeles, I can't get enough.
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  • Roxana Chirilă
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, disclaimer: I've read this in Romanian, not English, and the translated prose flows like the River Ankh in Discworld (hint: it doesn't). So I missed a lot of the fun everybody else seemed to be having.Anyway, let's talk about the plot.If there's one thing I hate in a mystery novel is to be able to tell early on what happened with the murder and all that - which is what happened here. I'm not sure it's Chandler's fault or if I can recognize hints when I see them, but everything clic First of all, disclaimer: I've read this in Romanian, not English, and the translated prose flows like the River Ankh in Discworld (hint: it doesn't). So I missed a lot of the fun everybody else seemed to be having.Anyway, let's talk about the plot.If there's one thing I hate in a mystery novel is to be able to tell early on what happened with the murder and all that - which is what happened here. I'm not sure it's Chandler's fault or if I can recognize hints when I see them, but everything clicked for me relatively early on, because (seriously,don't read this if you want to enjoy the book or something) (view spoiler)[the detective investigates the disappearance of a blonde, pretty woman, and he comes across a man who had another blonde, pretty woman for a wife, and who goes out of the way to describe how similar the two are (hide spoiler)]. I mean, it was a pretty obvious hint that (view spoiler)[the two switched places at some point (hide spoiler)].After that, there was a lot of chasing bad guys around and trying to figure out where women vanished off to. Decent, but I wasn't wowed. I liked the way it built up into a coherent narrative at the end, with a nicely evil villain, and I was a bit amused at the tendency to (view spoiler)[kill everybody who committed murder (hide spoiler)] by the end, which I've encountered in other places as well. Crime doesn't pay, indeed. (view spoiler)[Because the author kills you before you collect, I suppose. (hide spoiler)]
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