February 11, 2014

Cocktail Talk: The Lady in the Lake

ladyI’ve had a few fair cocktail talk posts from Mr. Raymond Chandler, one of the few true masters of American detective and hard-boiled stories. And I’m guessing you know him already, because he’s pretty knowable, and, well, I think a lot of you. So, I won’t stand here gabbing, and instead just go into this amazing gin quote from The Lady in the Lake (which the New York Times no less called “one of his best”). I’ve felt a bit the way Mr. Marlowe feels below (and yes, I’m calling a fictional character “Mr. Marlowe.” But I think he deserves that, real or not).

I smelled of gin. No just casually, as if I had taken four or five drinks of a winter morning to get out of bed on, but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nose-dived off the boat deck. The gin was in my hair and eyebrows, on my chin and under my chin. It was on my shirt. I smelled like dead toads.

–Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake

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