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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Godwulf Manuscript

Found this "first Spenser" novel, originally published in 1973, in the piles at the second-hand bookstore behind Eastern Market.

It's very Raymond Chandler. Perhaps the most tonally close to Chandler than any other hard-boiled mystery I've read. The only difference from Chandler is that Spenser had sex with female clients liberally, while Philip Marlowe never did so on any of the pages, although in one of the novels it was implied.

Come to think of it, why did Chandler avoid a more promiscuous life for Marlowe and deliberately make him into a medieval white knight in his approach to women? It was in stark contrast with Hammet's attitude toward nonmarital sex. One of the theories I've seen is that Chandler was gay. I have no way of verifying that claim, except that I saw a clip of him at a party some time in the 50s, and the clip was in a documentary about Christopher Isherwood.

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