Archive for Raymond Chandler

Pulp Quotes

Posted in General Pulp with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2011 by gustravis

Pulp Quotes


From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made to be seen from 30 feet away.


Bogart can be tough without a gun. He has a sense of humor that contains that grating undertone of contempt.


What did it matter when you were dead…You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell.


Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic. The second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.


I do a great deal of research, particularly in the apartments of tall blondes.


I knew one thing. As soon as anyone said you don’t need a gun, you’d better take one along that worked.


-Raymond Chandler




Man does not live by murder alone. He needs affection, approval, encouragement and occasionally, a hearty meal.

-A. Hitchcock.


I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman.

– Walter Neff (Double Indemnity-1944)


And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper.

-M.Gunderson (Fargo-1996)


We were about to give up and call it a night when somebody threw the girl off the bridge.

– John D. MacDonald


I don’t like jail; they got the wrong kind of bars in there.

– C. Bukowski


There’s nothing safe about sex. There never will be.

– N. Mailer


I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday

– R. Chandler

What the tongue has promised, the body must submit to.

– R. Stout


Some people never go crazy. What horrible lives they must live.

– C. Bukowski


Love; when you get fear into it, it’s not love anymore. It’s hate.

– James M. Cain


The world’s really wild at heart and weird at the top.

-Barry M. Gifford


Los Angeles is the world’s biggest third rate city.

– J. D. MacDonald


I will ride my luck on occasion, but I like to pick the occasion.

– R. Stout


Stealing a man’s wife, that’s nothing. But stealing his car, that’s larceny.

– J.M. Cain


Look at that fat bastard trying to get out of his car.

– R. Chandler looking at A. Hitchcock


Dreaming of Babylon: Thinking about Brautigan

Posted in Richard Brautigan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2011 by gustravis

Dreaming of Babylon: Thinking about Brautigan

by Gus Edwards


I’ve just finished reading Richard Brautigan’s Dreaming of Babylon (A Private Eye novel 1942) and I think it’s a doozy. It’s Brautigan which means that it’s kooky, absurd, insane, hilariously funny and completely fractured even in the way the novel is constructed. Now those should be reasons enough to recommend it, but in addition to all those virtues I have to add another. And that is respect. Because in spite of its absurdities the novel adheres to the traditions of the genre with a respectful degree of intelligence and affection.


The story is told in the first person by the Private Eye of the subtitle a Mr. C. Card who might just be the worst PI in the business. Of course just as he’s feeling completely down and out, along comes a job. He is hired by this beautiful blonde with a seemingly bottomless capacity for beer. She is accompanied by a murderous looking bodyguard/driver referred to as “The Neck”. The job is to steal a body from the San Francisco City morgue and deliver it to them at midnight in an appointed graveyard. Card takes the job because he’s been down so long that a job, any job, looks like up to him. He owes his landlady six months back rent, his mother eight hundred dollars and because he has no car so he has to take public transportation to get him from one place to another. He can’t afford cabs. That’s how bad things are.


But our Mr. Card is no ordinary down-and- out Private Eye. He is a man who exists fully on an alternative mental plain. A city not unlike San Francisco where he is a tough guy detective in the Dashiell Hammett’/Sam Spade, Raymond Chandler/ Phillip Marlowe tradition. Where like Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, who came along later, he has a sexy, knockout secretary who’s crazy for him.  So where everything’s wrong for him in San Francisco, everything’s right for him in Babylon. And much of the novel’s narrative is addressed to him balancing these two plains of existence.

Now as we go through the story we come across a plethora of curious characters. His mother, his landlady, a peg-legged manager of the city morgue, a tough cop (Sgt. Rink)that no criminal should ever want to encounter and a couple of Femme Fatales that neither Bogie or Dick Powell ever had to deal with. Then there are some thugs who seem to come right out of Laurel and Hardy or a Mack Sennett movie.


This is the 5th or 6th Brautigan novel I’ve read and I’ve loved them all. He makes me laugh with his unexpected turns of phrases and lines of dialogue. I can’t think of too many writers I can say that about. And whenever I’m reading one of his novels I always find myself asking; “Why hasn’t somebody made a film out of this?” But when I think about it some more I realize that most of the humor and the originality in his work is in both his idiosyncratic use of language and the attitude he brings to the enterprise. Both would be difficult if not impossible to translate onto film. Brautigan, in his novels and short stories too, often incorporates a kind of American “magic realism” that critics don’t always credit him for and appreciate. But it’s there in books like The Hawkline Monster, Sombrero Fallout and others. It is here in Dreaming of Babylon too. And he makes it work in a way that defies all expectation.

He may be gone but the books are here to be read and re-read, to treasure and to laugh about. Richard Brautigan was a one-of-a-kind talent. And it’ll be a millennium before the likes of him appears on the literary horizon again. Check him out if you haven’t already. He’s a pip.

James Ellroy: Clandestine

Posted in James Ellroy with tags , , , on June 21, 2010 by gustravis

The opening line of James Ellroy’s Clandestine:

“During the dark, cold winter of 1951 I worked Wilshire Patrol, played a lot of golf, and sought out the company of lonely women for one-night stands.”

Ellroy is the only writer included in these journals yet who is still alive.  I like him.  He calls Dashiell Hammett one of the best writers ever.  He thinks Raymond Chandler is a pussy.  He’s a peeping tom, a pervert, a dog-lover, a pulp-writer.

More to come from his 1982 novel Clandestine as I discover it.