Twice a year– once in the spring and once in the fall– the Chicago Public Library selects a book for the entire city to read. This spring, “One Book, One Chicago” enters its seventh year as a program to promote reading and discussion among all city residents. The selection is the 1953 Raymond Chandler crime novel, The Long Goodbye. The choice of The Long Goodbye marks the first time that the committee has selected a mystery novel. I do not usually read mysteries or crime novels. Those tend more often to be Whirl’s preferences rather than mine. Occasionally she will recommend one for me to read, most notably novels by James Ellroy. I am also somewhat amused that the 1974 Robert Altman film adaptation by the same name arrived in the mail yesterday. I do not remember which of us added that to the movie queue, but the accidental timing was perfect. And I should probably also note that another Chandler adaptation sits on my short list of favorite films: The Big Sleep starring Humphrey Bogart. Suffice it to say I am excited to read this book.
The Long Goodbye is the last book Chandler wrote. It features his iconic detective, Phillip Marlowe. From the back cover:
Marlowe befriends a down-on-his-luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he’s divorced and remarried and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.
I better go find out what happens!