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The Chill

de Ross MacDonald

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Lew Archer (11)

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6621928,888 (4.02)38
Lew Archer knew he shouldn't have taken the case, but Alex Kincaid seemed so desperate. Kincaid's loving new bride Dolly had just inexplicably walked out on him, leaving Kincaid more than a little fearful for her sanity-and her safety. So Archer reluctantly agreed to help Kincaid find his wife. But what he found instead was enough to send a chill down anyone's spine-a new fresh corpse and evidence linking Dolly not only to this murder, but to a series of others dating back to before she was even born.… (més)
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» Mira també 38 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 19 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Good Lew Archer story. Ultimately a convoluted tale of complex set of 3 murders 10 years apart. who is killing these people and how does it tie together? in the end through a remarkable plot twist, it all makes sense. However, remarkable plot twists are not really my thing, so while it is good- it didn't really do that much for me. The milieu was pacific point (California beach area) 1950s, though there are sidetrips to Reno and Chicago. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
review of
Ross MacDonald's The Chill
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - November 19, 2018

A comment was made about one of my reviews in wch the reader listed some of his favorite crime fiction writers. Ross MacDonald was one of the ones whose work I hadn't read. I take people's recommendations from time-to-time so I picked up 2 of MacDonalds's bks soon thereafter & read this one 1st. I liked it. I liked the writing & I see it as in the same lineage as Hammett & Chandler — w/ the detective, Lew Archer, being a bit more of a diplomat & a bit less of a tough character. This is 'classic':

""I'd like to talk to the hotel photographer. Is he around today?"

""Yes, sir. I believe he's out by the swimming pool."

"We found him, a thin spry man wearing a heavy camera like an albatross around his neck. Among the colored beach clothes and bathing costumes, his dark business suit made him look like an undertaker. He was taking some very candid pictures of a middle-aged woman in a Bikini who didn't belong in one. Her umbilicus glared at the camera like an eyeless socket." - pp 12-13

The final simile is part of what makes him worthy of being in the same company as H & C. Fine similes abound.

"He seemed less interested in her than she was in him. His good looks were rather gentle and melancholy, the kind that excite maternal passions in women. Though his brown wavy hair was graying at the temples, he looked rather like a college boy who twenty years after graduation glanced up from his books and found himself middle-aged." - pp 34-35

"I'd been having a little too much talk with people whose business was talking. It was good to sit at the counter of a working-class restaurant where men spoke when they wanted something, or simply to kid the waitress. I kidded her a little myself. Her name was Stella, and she was so efficient that she thereatened to take the place of automation. She said with a flashing smile that this was her aim in life." - pp 87-88

MacDonald's descriptions are often a way of describing something w/o being deadly dry. The character of the words is an analog to the character of the scene. It's what many people might think of as poetic. "so efficient that she thereatened to take the place of automation": beautiful.

Archer goes to a mental institution & has a talk w/ one of the doctors to ask about a patient he'd like to question.

""Is this your place, doctor?"

""I have an interest in it. Many of the patients here are mine. I've just been giving some shock treatments." He smoothed the front of his smock. "I'd feel less like a witch-doctor if I knew why electric shocks make depressed people feel better. So much of our science, or art, is still in the empirical stage. But the people do get better," he said with a sudden grin, too sudden to touch his watching, waiting eyes." - p 88

What MacDonald/Archer doesn't allude to, & may be unaware of, is that electroshock erases memory. As such, if the inmate that he wants to question knows something important to his case, she might not know it anymore after electroshock. That's awfully convenient if the doctor's hiding something or if someone paying him is.

""Objective and subjective, the outer world and the inner, do correspond of course. But sometimes you have to follow the parallel lines almost to infinity before they touch."" - p 95

I once postulated the idea of the "ogjective": neither objective or subjective — maybe it's in the gray area between the "parallel lines". Telephone lines?

""I never see you, Lew. All I hear is your voice on the telephone. For all I know you don't exist any more, but simply made some tapes a number of years ago and somebody plays them to me from time to time."" - p 115

"She hung up on me. I seemed to be losing my touch with little old ladies. I went into the washroom and looked at my face in the mirror above the row of basins. Someone had written in pencil on the wall: Support Mental Health or I'll kill you." - p 143

In most crime fiction, alcohol plays a major part — not so much as a factor leading to crime as much as something pouring down the gullets of just about everybody. You'd think the relevant world consisted almost entirely of alcoholics, wch maybe it did & does.

"I manufactured a light highball and brought it back to the couch. I didn't offer Hoffman any. In wine was truth, perhaps, but in whiskey, the way Hoffman sluiced it down, was an army of imaginary rats climbing your legs." - p 167

I don't know how much Latin has survived in the vocabulary of so-called Millennials so I might as well explain that "In wine was truth" was more often sd as the ancient Latin expression In Vino Veritas. While we're on the subject of languages other than English:

""When a woman is murdered, you ask her estranged husband where he was at the time. It's the corollary of cherchez la femme."" - p 175

A few years ago, a French-speaking woman friend of mine that I hadn't seen for decades was coming to visit. I met her at the airport weaing a sign that read Cherchez la femme b/c I thought it was funny. She didn't seem to appreciate the crime-fiction humor of it. At the time, I thought that perhaps the French was wrong, that it was an Americanization — but, no, the French is correct.

This novel was copyrighted in 1963. That was only 55 yrs ago. &, yet, it's full of classical learning that doesn't strike me as common anymore. I reckon it wasn't really common then either so it establishes the detective as a learned man — not always the emphasis in crime fiction.

"I walked on to the next corner, sat on a bench, and read in my new book about Heraclitus. All things flow like a river, he said; and nothing abides. Parmenidies, on the other hand, believed that nothing ever changed, it only seemed to. Both views appealed to me." - pp 209-210

Zeno had been in the mix earlier. Wd you have used a semi-colon after "he said"?

""Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. I learned that at my mother's knee and other low joints, as a well-known statesman said."" - p 239

I think that's funny, do you? I reckon the expression "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" hasn't been lost yet. MacDonald does something that I like to do — oblique jokes that require unspoken knowledge for the understanding of. Substituting "ugliness" for "beauty" is a case in point. So's the next statement:

""Roy has always been attracted to women who are obvious mammals."" - p 250

"A boy with a guitar in one of the lighted fraternity houses was singing that this land belongs to you and me." - p 251

The song referred to is "This Land is Your Land". It was written by Woody Guthrie & copyrighted in 1956. It's unlikely that Guthrie himself is implied as singing the song in a frat house so it was probably a popular song by then sung by many. Guthrie is widely known & loved as a leftist. It's famous that on his guitar was written: "This Machine Kills Fascists" — the idea, as I interpret it, is that songs & other creative activities can work counter to the death culture of Fascism. A few yrs back, there was an attempt to character assassinate Guthrie by saying that he was raised in a KKK household & that in his early career he was a racist. It seems obvious to me that if this is true he denounced it & moved on. I was raised in a conservative Republican Christian household but I'm not a conservative Republican Christian. People don't always follow the trajectory set out for them by their parents or mainstream culture.

""Why would a young fellow run away from all that money? I spent most of my own life trying to get a little to stick to my fingers."" - p 261 ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
Excellent example of the gumshoe style of mystery. One aspect that I particularly like is the fact that the book is focused entirely on the mystery - no long passages about the detective's personal problems. I don't mean to imply that Lew Archer is one-dimensional but that he is a man who focuses on the job. This had plenty of twists and surprises but none that the author 'cheats' with - the reader learns about them when Archer does. ( )
1 vota leslie.98 | Sep 24, 2016 |
Right up there with the best of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Actually, Ross Macdonald was a better plotter than either of them, and the details of his complex storyline for The Chill interlock as magnificently as the stones of an Incan wall. If I have anything even remotely resembling a complaint, it's the fact that I would have enjoyed seeing Lew Archer, Macdonald's private eye, become a little more personally involved in the story; in sharp contrast to Chandler's Philip Marlowe (who invariably wound up throwing his heart and soul into the case he was working, whether he wanted to or not), Archer seemed to stand at an ironic distance, psychoanalyzing the other characters. But it's hard to find fault with such a dark, haunting tale so beautifully told, and The Chill may be recommended without reservation--not only to fans of crime fiction, but to fans of intelligent writing in general. I consider it one of the three essential hardboiled novels, along with Hammett's The Glass Key and Chandler's The Long Goodbye. ( )
1 vota Jonathan_M | Mar 21, 2016 |
A hard-boiled detective story, another in the series about Lew Archer, this convoluted murder mystery is full of characters, connections, and red herrings. I confess both to being somewhat confused by the number of characters and also to being delightfully surprised by the ending, which I didn't see coming. ( )
  sleahey | May 15, 2015 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
MacDonald, Rossautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Friedmann, GretelTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hamilo, EskoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mantovani, VincenzoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Parker, TomNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Lew Archer knew he shouldn't have taken the case, but Alex Kincaid seemed so desperate. Kincaid's loving new bride Dolly had just inexplicably walked out on him, leaving Kincaid more than a little fearful for her sanity-and her safety. So Archer reluctantly agreed to help Kincaid find his wife. But what he found instead was enough to send a chill down anyone's spine-a new fresh corpse and evidence linking Dolly not only to this murder, but to a series of others dating back to before she was even born.

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