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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

The High Window

The High Window - Raymond Chandler I'm not sure quite what it is about Raymond Chandler that makes him so awesome. On the surface, this is pretty much standard hard-boiled or noire detective fiction. But, Chandler's protagonist, Philip Marlowe, has a strong personality that grows on one. Yeah, he's rather flippant and even coarse, but he also had a decent side, something missing in much of noire fiction. Or perhaps it's as simple as the fact that when I was growing up, the only movies on TV were old things from the 30s and 40s, so I developed a taste for that period of time.

In this book, Marlowe is hired by a manipulative, domineering, rich-but-miserly, sherry-soaked, old widow, to track down her son's missing spouse. She alleges that the spouse fled with a very rare gold doubloon, one from her late husband's prize collection. She wants the doubloon back and the daughter-in-law divorced from her son with no alimony.

So Marlowe begins the hunt, finds himself being shadowed by a conspicuous young man, who is a would-be private eye himself, and obviously not a very good one. The young man wants to talk to Marlowe about joining forces on something undefined, but when Marlowe goes to talk to him some more, he finds the young man murdered in his own bathroom. Marlowe interviews a dealer in rare coins. He also ends up being murdered. And so forth. So, we have the stuff of hard-boiled fiction: bodies, guns, floozies (speaking of floozies, why are they all tall blonds? What's not to like about a dumpy brunette floozy?), smoking, hard drinking, double crossing, and such like (even an innocent girl from Kansas). But the characters are well drawn and the story is rather engaging.

I believe that this is the sixth Chandler book that I've read. Everyone of them has been a GoodRead indeed.