21 October 2005

Review: The Big Sleep

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Title: The Big Sleep

Author: Raymond Chandler

Genre: Crime

Read: 27th May 2005

Comments: Good, I liked it. The story was pretty standard detective story stuff, but I guess since Chandler's basically the father of the genre, that's why it IS the standard. Probably for its time (it was originally published in 1939 in case anyone was wondering) it was a lot more ground-breaking. The writing however, was something else. Absolutely 100% great. Even before I'd read this I'd heard homages and parodies of his style, but there's really no comparison. I'll let the man speak for himself though.

"It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars."

Pretty sweet opening, eh?

Marlowe's first encounter with the wild daughter of the millionaire who hired him is gold too...

" 'I don't see what there is to be cagey about' she snapped. 'And I don't like your manners.' 'I'm not crazy about yours,' I said. 'I didn't ask to see you. You sent for me. I don't mind you ritzing me or drinking your lunch out of a scotch bottle. I don't mind you showing me your legs. They're very swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance. I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings. But don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me.' "

And on and on... It's really just brilliant the whole way through. But as they used to say on 'Reading Rainbow'(Levar where are you now?) Don't take my word for it... Just let me know if you want to borrow it. The Library of Becki is open 24-7!

Quote: see above

  • The Big Sleep

  • Goog Niter! I'm off to watch 'Queen Margot' for about the 9 millionth time.

    P.S. re-edited to gel with the new format


    18 October 2005

    Visa etc.

    So today I went to Kobe to update my visa for the first time ever. It was way quicker than I thought it would be and I found the building right away, thanks to Luke's great directions. ("It's near the giant tetris piece.") The staff were really nice and helpful and put up with a few stupid questions that I had, which made me happy. Maybe it's just 'cause I'm an American, but I almost expect that public servants are going to be rude and unhelpful, so when they're not it's rather a pleasant surprise.

    I had some free time afterward so I did what I always do: went straight down to Tokyo Random Walk and bought some books. (Sometimes I swear I think I'm supporting that place single-handedly.) Here's the rundown:

    'The Bell Jar' by Slyvia Plath- I read some of her poetry when zi was in my wanna-be poet phase in highschool and quite liked it, but I never read the novel, so better late than never...

    'Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Vol. I' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- Just good to have around I guess, and since mystery seems to be fast becoming another favorite genre of mine I thought it would be good to have some of the master...

    'The Sandman: Book of Dreams' edited by Neil Gaiman- This one's kind of a gimme. I knew I had to have it the second I saw it. It's a book of short stories set in the Sandman universe by a whole bunch of great authors: Tad Williams, Susanna Clarke and (are you reading Mom?) Gene Wolfe...

    'Liquor' by Poppy Z. Brite- Another gimme... I've loved Poppy since I first read her stuff back in highschool (did my senior paper comparing her and Charlotte Bronte in fact), but I haven't read anything of hers lately, so it should be a treat...

    That's all for now since I've got a date to go to Karaoke with Non-chan, Kon-sama and a whole bunch of other people tonight, but I should be putting up that review of 'The Big Sleep' soon. I finished it a few days ago, but I haven't gotten around to writing it yet. The next review should probably take even longer though since right now I'm reading 'Elizabeth and Mary' which is a dual biography of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It's fascinating stuff, but still a bit slow-going...

    Goog Niter!

    P.S. Today's image (as you've probably guessed) again has nothing what-so-ever to do with this post, but it's what came up on a Google Image search for 'Japan visa' so there you have it...

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    Me and Kanoka

    Kanoka, is one of the kids that I teach at Okaba. She is a little angel. She just graduated from Chibi into Kinder kids and she is the sweetest thing ever. Her mom took this picture of us in the lobby at Okaba.

    (I wanted to scan it so I could get better picture quality, but I can't get the #%&!#'in scanner to work, so I retook the picture with my phone...hopefully I'll be able to get the scanner working soon, or maybe I'll just spring for a digital camera).

    Goog Niter!

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