I hadn't read anything from Chandler before but I really enjoyed this. It may be the first book that I have read that dealt with life in the 30's in general, so it was enlightening to me in that respect too.
Note: I read the second book, Farewell, My Lovely
, right after finishing this one, so I have muddled some of the details between books. I will try not to post any spoilers below for the second book.
I didn't notice that nearly as much as the racism in the book. I should clarify, I noticed it, but it didn't bother me too much because I expect it from someone in this time period. Homophobia is still very present and we all know it was much worse even a few years ago, so it didn't bother me in that regard. The overt racism in this book and even more in the second book is what really got my attention. Homophobia is still something that we are actively dealing with as a society, we tend to think of race as a more-or-less resolved issue.*
Originally Posted by Bookpossum
I had forgotten the homophobia in the book, which was no doubt just a reflection of the way things were - and no doubt still are, but it wouldn't be as acceptable to write it that way now.
There is no way a book like this would be well received in today's society, let alone made into a movie a couple years later. (I say that then think of Django Unchained
or whatever that movie was.) It really gave me a different perspective on racism in the early 1900s, especially since this is set in LA. Los Angeles, not Louisiana which would have surprised me less!
I see some of the roots of today's action oriented books in these books. The tough protagonist who has a dark sense of humor and/or is only marginally a good-guy. I do see him as a clear good guy, but one who has been let down by the system. The picture he gives us is no longer a nice glossy image, it is like a picture on the wall of a smoking lounge that is yellowed, faded and smells a bit but still has value to the people in it.
This book was a big departure for me from what I normally read, which is part of the draw and part of the reason I got the Kindle in the first place, but I enjoyed it enough to continue on in the series.
*I am quite aware of how much it is around still, but it doesn't tend to get the same attention anymore.