Saturday, August 09, 2014

Raymond Chandler Was An Asshole

Ed here: I thought that headline might get your attention. The writer Stephen Blackmoore is somebody I only recently started reading him. Damned if he's not as good as his reviews insist. “Eric Carter’s adventures are bleak, witty, and as twisty as a fire-blasted madrone, told in prose as sharp as a razor. Blackmoore is the rising star of pitch-black paranormal noir. A must-read series.” – Kat Richardson, Author of the Greywalker series

Raymond Chandler
Was An Asshole

By Stephen Blackmoore

from Thrilling Detective
This piece originally appeared, in a slightly different form, on L.A. Noir, the author's blog, upon the occasion of Raymond Chandler's 123rd birthday. It is reprinted with permission.
JULY 23, 2011
Today is Raymond Chandler's 123rd birthday.
Last week a friend of mine said, "You're pretty hard on L.A."

"What do you mean? I love this town. It's so fucked up."

"That," he said. "That's what I'm talking about."

I look at Chandler the same way.
And so I can say, with great respect, Raymond Chandler was an asshole.

Before he created Philip Marlowe, penned the script for Strangers On A Train, or even had his first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot". published in Black Mask, he was an alcoholic executive for the Dabney Oil Company in Downtown L.A. getting shitfaced every day at lunch while playing gin at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

He was fired in 1932, a year before Prohibition was repealed. The reason? Excessive drinking.

Of course, Prohibition meant fuck all out here. The City of Los Angeles was running all the rackets out of Mayor Frank Shaw's office using city bureaucracy and infrastructure to coordinate it. It did it so well, in fact, that there wasn't anything for the mobsters to do.

We didn't have organized crime, we had city government.

Kind of like today. *rimshot*

Chandler published his first novel, The Big Sleep, in 1939 when he was 50 years old. He got his first Hollywood gig in 1943 writing the script for Double Indemnity with Billy Wilder. Just before the script was to be finished he threw a tantrum and made a bunch of stupid, whiny demands that would shame a five-year-old.

for the rest go here:


Mathew Paust said...

Delightful. I'd heard this. Wonder if he ever punched an editor, as I recall reading Hemingway once threatened to do.

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

You definitely got our attention, great blog, Ed, you keep us entertained!

Dan said...

The words of an old saying come to mind. Can't recall if I read this in Shakespeare or the book of Ephesians, but it goes something like:

"Vass you dere, Charlie?"