The first year after I had graduated college, I got a two-volume collection of Raymond Chandler's complete works out of the library and inhaled them. It was a wonderful couple of weeks. I'd read The Big Sleep back in high school, and The Lady in the Lake one summer between college years, so I knew I liked his writing style. But it wasn't until that post-college binge that I realized I'd found my favorite author.
The only trouble was, I read all his novels and short stories in a row, and all the plots kind of smooshed together. The only one I can reliably tell you a decent amount about is still The Big Sleep, because I've read it probably 3 times, and watched the Bogart & Bacall movie a lot. So this re-read of The High Window was almost like reading a brand-new-to-me book. I really didn't remember anything about the plot, which made it extra enjoyable.
Basically, Philip Marlowe gets hired to find a rich old woman's daughter-in-law, who has disappeared along with a valuable old coin. In the process, he runs into murder, blackmail, and emotional manipulation -- the case goes deep and dark before it's through.
One thing that surprised me was how relatively clean this was. I always think of Chandler as dealing with dark, dirty crimes, but while a few sordid things were implied here and there, they were glossed over pretty gently. If you'd like to try out one of his novels to see what his writing style is like, but don't want to get sucked into society's underbelly, I recommend trying this one.
I'm not listing any favorite lines because I had so many it would be like reprinting half the book.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for violence, language, and innuendo.
This is my 37th book read and reviewed for The Classics Club!