In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Nicholas Ray’s noir classic In a Lonely Place is one of my top ten favourite films. I’ve seen it a dozen times, probably more. It’s one of a handful of old films I watch every 18 months or so, whenever I want to remind myself just how good the movies used to be in the 1940s and ‘50s. As such, I’ve always felt slightly nervous about the prospect of reading the novel on which the film is loosely based. I’d heard that Ray’s version of the story was very different to Dorothy Hughes’ book (also titled In a Lonely Place), so much so that some consider it to be a completely separate entity. Even so, would the novel live up to my expectations? How would I feel about it compared to the film? Well, to cut a long intro short, I absolutely loved the book. It’s tremendous – so atmospheric and suspenseful, a highlight of my reading year.

From here on in I’m going to focus solely on Hughes’ novel (first published in 1947) as there’s more than enough to say about it in its own right without drawing comparisons or contrasts with the film. Maybe that’s something for another time.

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The central character here is ex-pilot Dix Steele, now trying his hand at writing a novel following his discharge from the US Army Air Force at the end of the war. Dix has been in LA for about six months, conveniently holed up in a fancy apartment while its owner, an old college friend named Mel Terriss, is away in Rio. Not only is Dix living in Mel’s flat, he’s also driving his car, wearing his clothes and spending his money courtesy of some charge accounts he has managed to access. With all these resources on tap, you might think Dix would be feeling pretty comfortable with his life, but that’s simply not the case. From the beginning of the book, it’s crystal clear that Dix is a very troubled man; he’s damaged, depressed and desperately lonely.

As the novel opens, Dix is prowling the city streets at night; he’s out by the coast, the fog rolling in from the ocean. When he spots a girl stepping off a bus, Dix’s interest is aroused.

He didn’t follow her at once. Actually he didn’t intend to follow her. It was entirely without volition that he found himself moving down the slant, winding walk. He didn’t walk hard, as she did, nor did he walk fast. Yet she heard him coming behind her. He knew she heard him for her heel struck an extra beat, as if she had half stumbled, and her steps went faster. He didn’t walk faster, he continued to saunter but he lengthened his stride, smiling slightly. She was afraid. (pg. 2)

For the last six months, a serial killer has been on the loose in LA. Young girls are being murdered at a rate of one a month; different neighbourhoods each time, but the method is always the same – strangulation. To the reader, the nature of Dix’s connection to these killings is pretty clear from the outset. Nevertheless, Hughes stops short of focusing on the murders themselves; thankfully all the violence is ‘off-camera’, so we never actually see any of the crimes being played out in full.

Shortly after the incident with the girl from the bus, Dix decides to look up an old acquaintance from the forces, Brub Nicolai. When he calls at Brub’s apartment, Dix finds his old friend a somewhat changed man; much to Dix’s surprise, Brub has landed a role as a detective in the LAPD. When he learns that Brub is working on the recent sequence of killings, Dix knows he should back away. Nevertheless, there is something fascinating about skirting close to the source of danger. In some ways, Dix sees Brub as an opportunity to discover exactly how much the cops really know about the perpetrator, so he decides to stay in touch with his friend, quizzing him carefully while trying not to make any slip ups in the process. Dix knows he is flirting with danger by sticking close to Brub, but he simply cannot stop himself. In his own mind, Dix is untouchable, his crimes untraceable. That said, it’s not just Brub that Dix has to contend with, there’s his wife too, the smart and perceptive Sylvia, a woman who clearly loves her husband, so much so it serves to reinforce  Dix’s loneliness.

He wouldn’t go. He wouldn’t intrude on their oneness. They had happiness and happiness was so rare in this day of the present. More rare than precious things, jewels and myrrh. Once he’d had happiness but for so brief a time; happiness was made of quicksilver, it ran out of your hand like quicksilver. There was the heat of tears suddenly in his eyes and he shook his head angrily. He would not think about it, he would never think of that again. It was long ago, in an ancient past. To hell with happiness. More important was excitement and power and the hot stir of lust. Those made you forget. They made happiness a pink marshmallow. (p. 17)

Dix is a devilishly complex character. Deep down, he is resentful of all the ‘rich stinkers’, the guys who get everything without having to lift a finger for it. Guys like Mel Terriss, his old acquaintance from Princeton; men like his Uncle Fergus, the patron who mails him a cheque for a measly $250 each month even though he could certainly afford a lot more. Hughes is particularly strong on portraying Dix’s anger and resentment towards the lucky people, the source of which stems from his own lack of status in life. As a pilot in the forces, Dix was respected; he had power and he had control. Now he has nothing.

The war years were the first happy years he’s ever known. You didn’t have to kowtow to the stinking rich, you were all equal in pay; and before long you were the rich guy. Because you didn’t give a damn and you were the best God-damned pilot in the company with promotions coming fast. You wore swell tailored uniforms, high polish on your shoes. You didn’t need a car, you had something better, sleek powerful planes. You were the Mister, you were what you’d always wanted to be, class. You could have any woman you wanted in Africa or India or England or Australia or the United States, or any place in the world. The world was yours. (p. 96)

As the story unfolds, we learn that Dix remains tormented by a woman from his past, a girl named Brucie whom he knew from his time in England during the war. Ever since then, no woman has ever come close to lighting Dix’s fire; no woman except his neighbour, the glamourous Laurel Gray. When Dix spots her for the first time, he is utterly smitten.

Her eyes were slant, her lashes curved long and golden dark. She had red-gold hair, flaming hair, flung back from her amber face, falling to her shoulders. Her mouth was too heavy with lipstick, a copper-red mouth, a sultry mouth painted to call attention to its promise. She was dressed severely, a rigid, tailored suit, but it accentuated the lift of her breasts, the curl of her hips. She wasn’t beautiful, her face was too narrow for beauty, but she was dynamite. (p. 21)

It’s not long before Dix and Laurel are an item, spending most of their evenings and nights together in Dix’s apartment. Laurel is another damaged character. Outwardly self-assured, but more than a little vulnerable at heart, divorcee Laurel is wholly dependent on her wealthy ex-husband for support. Ideally, she’d like to break into the movies or a show, something that would place her in the spotlight where she seemingly belongs.

All goes well between Dix and Laurel for a week or two, but then everything starts to crumble. One evening, Laurel doesn’t come home on time. Dix’s mind goes into overdrive, he gets angry and jealous; and when Laurel gets back, there are hints that the situation might spiral out of control. In this scene, Dix realises how close he has just come to hurting Laurel.

‘I’m sorry.’ He was, and for a moment he tightened. He was more than sorry, he was afraid. He might have hurt her. He might have lost her. With her he must remember, he must never take a chance of losing her. If it had happened – he shook his head and a tremble went over him. (p. 91)

In a Lonely Place is a first-class noir – superbly crafted, beautifully written. I don’t want to say too much more about the plot as it might spoil things, but it’s pretty suspenseful right to the end.

The characterisation is excellent, complex and subtle in its execution. Even though the novel is written in the third person, Hughes holds the reader close to Dix’s perspective throughout. We gain an insight into the mind of a deeply tormented man. Dix is angry and bitter and twisted, yet he is also rather vulnerable and fearful for the future. A lone wolf at heart, the war has left him with no real hope or purpose in life. Even though we know Dix commits some unspeakable acts, his pain is clear for all to see. At times, there is a sense that Dix is in denial about his actions, as though he is trying to distance himself from the other Dix, the one who hates women: ‘he wasn’t the same fellow.’ If only things work out with Laurel, then everything will be okay.

The other leading characters are portrayed with depth too. I marked up a great quote about one of the women in this story, but I fear it might be too much of a spoiler to include.

Hughes also excels in the creation of atmosphere and mood. As a reader you really feel as though you are walking the streets of the city at night, moving through the fog with only the dim and distant lights of LA to guide you.

If this novel is representative of Dorothy B. Hughes’ work, then I can’t wait to read another. Caroline has also reviewed this book here.

In a Lonely Place is published by Penguin Books.

59 thoughts on “In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

    1. JacquiWine Post author

      She’s been on my radar for ages on account of the film. I really ought to have read her before now, but then again I find myself saying the same thing about so many writers! The film is brilliant too, but it takes Dix’s story in a different direction. There are some very interesting differences between the two forms.

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Oh, brilliant! I’m very keen to read The Expendable Man at some point. It definitely sounds as though she was much more than a one-book wonder, There’s another promising one too: The Blackbirder, set in occupied France during WW2.

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      You’re very welcome, Marina. I feel pretty confident you would enjoy both. The novel’s atmosphere is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler’s portrayals of LA in the Philip Marlowe books. It’s very firmly in the same tradition and territory. The film is terrific too, and it’s sufficiently different from the novel to keep the viewer guessing.

      Reply
  1. Brian Joseph

    I have seen the film. I agree that it was a great one. I tend not to like to compare film versions to books as they are such different art forms.

    I like the idea of a nefarious person studying police tactics and psychology. I do in fiction, not in real life.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Yes, I see what you mean about not wishing to compare the two forms. Luckily in this case there are so many differences between the two that it makes it relatively easy to view them as completely separate entities. Had the film been closer to the novel, say with a few minor changes, then this whole experience might have caused me to view Ray’s adaptation in a completely different light. As it turns out, I can happily say that I love both versions of this story!

      Reply
  2. 1streading

    I have the film recorded as it was on TV shortly after you’d mentioned it as a favourite – unsurprisingly I haven’t watched it yet! I do like the sound of the novel, though – I’d no idea it was an adaptation.
    It’s interesting how Dix’s background in the forces affects him – I saw the NTL Deep Blue Sea recently which, of course, has just such a character.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      I’ll be curious to hear what you think of the film. Bogart steals it for me – I think it’s one of his best performances, possibly underrated or at least overshadowed by some of his other, higher-profile roles. Gloria Grahame is excellent too.

      Funny you should mention The Deep Blue Sea as I caught an encore screening last night – the live performance had already sold through by the time we went to book so I’m glad they added another showing. I couldn’t help but think the exact same thing when Hester was talking about Freddy’s experiences in the war! (It was in the second act, I think.) So many parallels between these two characters: the loss of status and power; the reliance on drink; the somewhat self-destructive nature. There are differences too, of course, but even so, I think you’ll find it an interesting comparison.

      Reply
  3. realthog

    A splendid account, Jacqui! The movie is right up there amongst my very favorite noirs, with a tremendous performance from Gloria Grahame at its heart, and so like you I was a bit nervous about approaching the novel. And, again like you, I needn’t have worried: I loved the novel too. I’ve read a couple of her other novels, which are lesser, and have her famous Ride the Pink Horse (another to be adapted as a film noir — in 1947 by Robert Montgomery) lined up for sometime soon, but don’t know The Expendable Man; must look it out.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Many, many thanks, John. In fact it was your comments (under another of my posts) about Hughes’ novel and Ray’s film being completely separate entities which convinced me that I had to read the book. (It must have come up in the conversation when I reviewed a Chandler or Janes M. Cain’s Double Indemnity.)

      As for the film, I love Gloria Grahame in that role, she’s superb. In my more melancholy moments I imagine myself as Laurel, so much so that I nearly used her pic as my Twitter avi when I joined some years back. Have you come across the ‘You Must Remember This’ series of podcasts about the great Hollywood legends from the golden age? There’s a great episode devoted to Gloria Grahame, a must-listen if you haven’t caught it yet – I’m on my phone right now but will post a link tomorrow when I’ll be back online. Also, if you’ve written about either the film or the book, please do post a link to your piece in the comments. I’m sure you must have at some point, either for your own site or another (Wonders in the Dark, perhaps?).

      Reply
    2. JacquiWine Post author

      Here’s that link to the Gloria Grahame episode in case you and others are interested:

      http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/youmustrememberthispodcastblog/2015/12/8/mgm-stories-part-thirteen-gloria-grahame

      They’ve covered Bogart in quite a bit of detail too, both pre-and post-Bacall:

      http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/youmustrememberthispodcastblog/ymrt-13-bogey-before-bacall

      http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/youmustrememberthispodcastblog/ymrt-14-bacall-after-bogart

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that I have a copy of Ride the Pink Horse, too. Will have to seek out the film at some point, probably once I’m done with the book. The Expendable Man sounds truly excellent. Three people have recommended it now — Lady F, Ali and another discerning reader via Twitter — all bodes very well indeed.

      Reply
      1. realthog

        Many thanks for the info about the You Must Remember This series, and the link, Jacqui! I’ll definitely be listening to that — she’s a favorite actress of mine.

        I wrote a couple of years ago about In a Lonely Place for the Romance Countdown that Wonders in the Dark was then running, and reblogged the post to Noirish, if that’s of interest. I could have sworn I made notes about the novel for Goodreads, but apparently not.

        Reply
        1. JacquiWine Post author

          Oh, you’re most welcome, John. I don’t know if you’re a podcast person, but if so, the whole series is well worth checking out, a veritable treasure trove of goodies.

          Many thanks for posting that link. I knew you had written something about the film – in fact. I may have seen the original on WITD. Either way, I’ve made a note to revisit it this week. Cheers!

          Reply
  4. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Great review as always Jacqui! It sounds wonderful, and I’ve read good things about this elsewhere too. I like noir, and the fact that the violence is off camera is even better. Definitely going to look out for this one!

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thanks, Karen. It’s just brilliant. I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with the film so now I can imagine that feeling extending to the novel too. Hughes handling of the set-up is superb. Right from the start you know exactly what’s happening with Dix, but nothing is ever stated explicitly. In a similar sense, all the gruesome stuff is off the page, so it never feels voyeuristic or exploitative in any way.

      You may have twigged that this is a 1947 book – and I would have kept it for your event in October had it not been for the fact that it’s one of our book group reads for September. (We’re actually doing two this month, this one and After Leaving Mr Mackenzie for #ReadingRhys.) Nevertheless, I’m hoping one or two readers might be encouraged to pick it up for your 1947 Club. It would be an ideal choice. (I have another ’47 book in mind for next month, really looking forward to it as I love this era so much!)

      Reply
        1. JacquiWine Post author

          Ha! A vintage year on the cultural front, books and films alike. There are two or three possibilities on my shelves, but I have my eye on one in particular. Should be a great event.

          Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      It’s well worth making time for this one. As I was just saying in my reply to Karen above, it would make a great pick for the 1947 Club. (I had to post this piece today as it’s one of two shortish novels my book group will be discussing tomorrow night, the other being After Leaving Mr Mackenzie for #ReadingRhys.) I remember your review of The Blackbirder – it sounded wonderful, definitely one for the future. Expendable is most definitely on my wishlist too….so many great books to read!

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Oh, great. I saw it in the schedules a couple of months ago – glad you enjoyed. The novel takes Dix’s story in a bit of different direction, so it’s definitely worth reading even though you’ve already seen the film.

      Reply
  5. Jonathan

    Wow! Both book and film look great. I hadn’t heard of either. I keep meaning to trawl through loads of films from the ’30s to ’50s.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Both are terrific, and there are some really interesting differences between the two versions of the story. I just love these old film noirs from the ’40s and ’50s. Off the top of my head I would also recommend Gilda, Out of the Past, Laura, The Killers (1946), and of course, Double Indemnity.

      Reply
  6. Donald Whiteway

    Yikes! Another one to add to that ever-growing list! I just want to say, that I so enjoy when you bring us works from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Little gems that have been forgotten…..

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thank you! I do love this era, so I’m sure there will be many more in the future. I feel a little guilty about adding yet another book to your ever-expanding list, but this one is so worth it – trust me. :)

      Reply
  7. Guy Savage

    I haven’t read this one yet. I have a habit of ‘saving’ books that I am particularly looking forward to for some reason. I’ve reviewed a few others by this author on my blog though, if interested.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Ah yes, I know exactly what you mean about the saving books thing. I’m sort of doing that with Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence and Custom of the County as the anticipation is all part of the enjoyment. The same applies to Patrick Hamilton. It’s a bit like saving your favourite clothes for ‘best’ and never actually wearing them!

      I will definitely check out your reviews of Hughes’ other books. The Expendable Man, Blackbirder and Ride the Pink Horse all sound highly promising…

      Reply
        1. JacquiWine Post author

          Yes, I’m hoping to pick up a copy of the NYRB edition of Expendable. Pink Horse is definitely of interest, but I’ll keep it till I’ve read the book. Thanks.

          Reply
  8. bookbii

    Excellent review Jacqui, it sounds suspenseful and chilling. I haven’t seen the movie either, but that also sounds wonderful. And your enthusiasm for the noir genre really sings through your review – if I ever decide to foray into the world of noir I’ll be consulting your blog first for the real gems.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thanks, Belinda. Ha, I’m glad to hear that my enthusiasm for these noir stories came through! I got a little carried away with this piece, I must admit, as it’s a little on a long side. I’ve been reading the Hughes with my book group and we’re discussing it tonight, hence my desire to capture most of my thoughts in this piece. It’s one of two shortish books we’ve been reading this month, the other being After Leaving Mr Mackenzie for #ReadingRhys.

      Reply
  9. madamebibilophile

    Great review as always :-) I studied the film for a module on my English Lit degree (it was the final course, we were allowed to go off-piste) – and they never even mentioned it was a book! It sounds wonderful, quite different to the film. I’ll seek it out in time for the 1947 Club :-)

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Oh, wow! You studied Ray’s film? How fantastic – that sounds like my kind of course! Great to hear that you were allowed some flexibility to choose a topic. Ray’s adaptation is rather different to the novel in that it takes Dix’s story in more ambiguous direction. Even though I had Bogart and Grahame’s images in my head as I was reading the book, I didn’t find it too challenging to view it as a separate entity to the movie. It’s a great choice for the 1947 Club – I’ll be fascinated to see what you make of it, particularly in relation to the film!

      Reply
  10. Max Cairnduff

    It sounds marvellous, though I thought that when Caroline reviewed it too I think. It’s a shame, if slightly inevitable, that they use a film still for the book given they do sound quite different.

    Did Hughes write more noir or was this something of a one-off for her? I’m not aware of her as a classic noir writer, beyond this book, but of itself that doesn’t mean she wasn’t of course.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      I think you’d love it, Max. Just look at that description of Laurel. I’m a sucker for this sort of passage in a novel, I could read it all day. Yes, an interesting choice to use a film still for the cover, although fairly understandable given Bogart’s capacity to attract interest.

      To be honest, I’m not quite sure how many of her other novels are firmly in noir territory. John or Caroline might have a view on this, possibly Guy too as he’s read some of her others. As far as I know, Ride the Pink Horse is another noir – I actually have a copy of this, so it might be my next Hughes. The Blackbirder — the story of a woman fleeing occupied France during WW2 — sounds somewhat different, a dark and atmospheric thriller. Then there’s The Expendable Man. As far as I can tell, it touches on themes of race and justice — a sort of wrong-man-in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time narrative, I think. They all sound fairly different.

      Reply
      1. realthog

        The Blackbirder — the story of a woman fleeing occupied France during WW2 — sounds somewhat different, a dark and atmospheric thriller.

        In fact, she’s already fled occupied France by the time the story begins; the novel’s set in NYC and Santa Fe. It’s certainly well worth a read, but I’d not put it in the same category as In a Lonely Place.

        Reply
  11. Caroline

    Thanks for the link. Isn’t it wonderful? I’m so glad you were not disappointed.
    I’ll be writing about this in another context soon (not saying more yet). How I wish to watch the movie. A brilliant 40s noir – what more can you want?
    I liked this so much that I don’t even want to read anything else by her. Weird.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Very welcome, Caroline. Yes, I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it! I put it on my Classics Club list last December just to give myself an extra incentive to get around to it. I loved the way it was written – so masterful in terms of mood and atmosphere you really feel as though you’re walking the streets of LA with Dix. Plus it’s a brilliant character study of a broken man.

      I’ll be fascinated to hear what you think of the film when you get a chance to watch it. As you may well have gathered, it’s very different to the novel. I’ll keep an eye out for your piece, too – you have me intrigued!

      Reply
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  14. buriedinprint

    I’m curious what some of the other films-you-love-to-review are? Similiar in genre, or favourites for other reasons? I’ve not read Dorothy Hughes’ fiction or seen this film, but I do love fims of the ’40s, so quite likely I would enjoy this too!

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Well, a few of them are other noir/crime films from the 1940s/’50s, more specifically: Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder), The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks) and the French heist classic Rififi. My favourite film is another Billy Wilder: The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine – I could happily watch that film all day, I never seem to tire of it! There’s Casablanca, of course, and Brief Encounter is another fave. I love Woody Allen too – well, the good ones, films like Manhattan Murder Mystery, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Broadway Danny Rose.

      How about you? Do you have a few favourites you like to revisit?

      Reply
      1. Max Cairnduff

        Classic list there Jacqui, and nice to see Rififi on it. Have you seen the classic Italian comedy remake I Soliti Ignoti? It’s brilliant. It also features a real time half hour heist sequence, save sadly on this occasion the criminals are imbeciles.

        Good to see Broadway Danny Rose get some attention; it’s distinctly underappreciated in my view. MMM though I always thought of as fun but slight, not top tier Allen but not one of his uncomfortable ones either (which Manhattan now rather falls into – looking back a film by Allen about a grown man having an affair with a teenage girl is slightly uncomfortable).

        Reply
        1. JacquiWine Post author

          No, I haven’t seen Soliti, but thank you for the reminder! It’s been on my wishlist for ages, so I really must get around to it.

          Broadway Danny Rose is tremendous. Mia Farrow is a revelation in that film, cast completely against type. I think it’s the blend of comedy and tragedy that makes it such a memorable film for me. Delighted to hear you are a fan of it too. I do love the whole caper element in Manhattan Murder Mystery, though. I know it’s a bit slight compared to some of his others, but it never fails to make me laugh. It’s like the cinematic equivalent of comfort food for me, something to cheer me up if I’m feeling a bit low. Yes, I know what you mean about Manhattan. Oddly enough, it’s never been one of my favourites, not even back in its heyday. Oh, and I forgot to mention All About Eve in my previous list, another tried and trusted fave. Plus I’m a sucker for anything featuring Cary Grant, especially His Girl Friday and the films he made with Hitchcock!

          So, which films would you have on your list? I know you’re a big fan of Singin’ in the Rain, which I also love.

          Reply
          1. Max Cairnduff

            Certainly some of the classics: His Girl Friday as you mention, which is pretty much perfect; I rather like on the Cary Grant front North by Northwest; The Philadelphia Story; going back some Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Dr Mabuse der Spieler are all brilliant (the Mabuse is another contender for favourite film); it’s unoriginal but I do think Apocalypse Now is a marvellous fever-dream of a film; Rashomon, Yojimbo and Seven Samurai; on the Hong Kong front Infernal Affairs (much better than the dreadful title), Mr Vampire, Drunken Master I’ve watched a few times, Police Story too is wonderful, and more recently Shaolin Soccer.

            Plus pretty much everything you originally mentioned.

            Actually, I could list films for hours. I’ve not even started on Westerns…

            Oh, and the Korean films Mother (neo-noir) and 3-Iron are both pretty exceptional too.

            I’m a way from the ’40s by now though.

            Reply
            1. JacquiWine Post author

              Ah, yes – North by NW and The Philadelphia Story, another couple of firm favourites, love both of those.

              I caught a screening of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari at the BFI a couple of years ago when they were showing a whole series of horror/gothic classics. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I still find it an incredibly hypnotic piece of cinema.

              The Kurosawas I’m less familiar with. (An old boyfriend from my university days took me to see Ran when it came out, and I just didn’t get it at all! Too young and inexperienced, I expect.) Ditto most of the Hong Kong titles you mention with the exception of Internal Affairs which I liked a lot – I’ll have to take a look at the others. I do love the films of Wong Kar-wai though, especially In the Mood for Love. That’s another candidate for my all-time top ten right there…

              Reply
  15. naomifrisby

    Fantastic review, Jacqui. If I’d just read the synopsis I probably wouldn’t have bothered – white male having a crisis, dead women – but your review’s very convincing and I love the quotations you’ve chosen. Thanks for flagging this up to me.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thanks, Naomi. I was a bit nervous about reading the book as I’ve always been a bit obsessed with the film. Nevertheless, it more than lived up to my expectations (phew!). The style is terrific, classic 1940s noir. If you like the quotes then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll enjoy the book.

      By the way, I had to rescue you (plus two other comments) from the spam filter. There’s definitely something up with WP/Akismet as the same thing kept happening to me over the weekend – most of my comments were getting trapped in the spam filters for no particular reason. WP/Akismet gave me a form to complete, so you might want to get in touch with them.

      Reply
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