What Raymond Chandler Didn’t Understand About L.A.
His Southern California Was About the Darkness Under the Glitz. Mine Is About the Smell of Smog Mixed With Sea, the Gardeners of the San Gabriel Valley, and the Neighborhoods Philip Marlowe Ignored.
I have to make the kind of confession that is just terrible for an L.A.-based mystery writer: I am not a fan of Raymond Chandler. He has set a tone for stories about the darkness under L.A.’s glitz for 80 years, but I can’t relate to the paranoid view Chandler had of my Los Angeles, or his fear of “the other,” or how his loner detective Philip Marlowe navigated his investigative cases without the weight of family or community.
In particular, I can’t stand the fact that, in Farewell My Lovely, …