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Descriptions of La in Chandler's "The Long Goodbye"

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Descriptions of La in Chandler's "The Long Goodbye"

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  • December 2005
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Raymond Chandler, The long Goodbye

There are not very many direct descriptions of L.A.

Direct description of L.A.:

Expensive taste: p.9 ¡°the stores along Hollywood Boulevard were already beginning to fill up with overpriced Christmas junk ¡­¡± Near Mexico: p.28 ¡°seven hours to Mexico City¡±
p.31 ¡°border people¡±
p.33 ¡°it¡¯s a long drag from Tijuana and one of the dullest drives in the state. Tijuana is nothing; all they want there is the buck. ¡­ Tijuana is not Mexico. No border town is anything but a border town ¡­¡± Criminal actions: p.38 ¡°driven most probably to El Paso, fitted with new keys and forged papers, and put on the market eventually in Mexico City. The procedure is routine. Mostly the money comes back in the form of heroin.¡± p.51 ¡°a guy can get hisself in a lot of trouble in this town.¡± Corruption:p.56 ¡°there are some angles we¡¯d rather not go into. After all, the family is pretty influential.¡± Casualty: p.78 ¡°He wore a flashy double-breasted vest, the sort of thing you hardly ever see in California except perhaps on a visiting Bostonian.¡± City in general:p.273 ¡°Twenty-four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick, bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse of fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness.¡±

The story takes place in L.A. so we can see everything that happens around Marlowe as a mirror of L.A. lifestyle, fashion and living.


The people Marlowe meets in this novel are of different kinds of classes. He meets working people, people who have a lot of money and don¡¯t need to work, some that live on the money of...

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