Toss between this title and Little Sister for the funniest, best Chandler. Images linger after the telling, Moose Malloys coat, the sisters outfit, the dingy rooming house, the happy jab doctor. Scenes which seemed out-of-fashion gripped me as deliberately jarring. Southern California is refolded into a nostalgic dream. His version shimmers just beyond reach. His characters rate true, though you may never find the actual people and locations. That elusive fragance vies with Joan Didion for tapping California essence .

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