This is a new look at the life of Raymond Chandler, one of the most popular and prolific crime novelists of the 20th Century. The story starts before his first efforts as an author by giving us a look into his private life, most notably his notorious marriage to Cissy Pascal, a woman 18 years his senior who was a model who often posed nude. Not the done thing in the 1920's, especially when the woman has already been married twice before. Cissy was always described as a frail woman and something of a burden on Chandler, and the book leaves us to wonder about how she was an inspiration to Chandler's writing.
"The Long Embrace" has been described as half biography and half novel. Judith Freeman certainly does her best to flesh out details of their lives in 1920s and 30s Los Angeles - that city of dreams. Chandler fanatics will certainly enjoy debating many of the issues brought forth in the book, but those of us who are more fond of the detective genre will simply enjoy the story of this intriguing man whom we only thought we knew.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our April, 2008 issue.
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