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Trouble Was His Business -- Raymond Chandler

March 7, 2009 | 10:00 am


The Times' Robert R. Kirsch reviews Philip Durham's "Down These Mean Streets a Man Must Go," Dec. 11, 1963.

Kirsch says: Raymond Chandler "was one of a small group of writers who used Los Angeles in the regional sense. The setting -- from Pasadena to Santa Monica, from Hollywood to the Malibu Hills -- was crucial to his work. Its places and people provided the stage and characters, and even the poetic mood. It was an ambivalent relationship. At times he loved the place; at other times he hated it. But it was always there.

"And as George P. Eliot once wrote: 'If you want the feel and aspect of Los Angeles and vicinity in the '30s, '40s and early '50s you could hardly do better than to read his fiction.' "