Monday, June 04, 2007

The Overlook and The Big Sleep

I just finished Michael Connelly's The Overlook and enjoyed it a great deal.

One unexpected pleasure at the end was Connelly's obvious homage to Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. Here's the second to the last paragraph from Sleep:
What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell...
And here are two paragraphs near the end from Overlook:
But Bosch thought that it didn't really matter if you died cornered in a butcher shop or on an overlook glimpsing the lights of heaven. You were gone and the finale wasn't the part that mattered. We are all circling the drain, he thought. Some are closer to the black hole than others. Some will see it coming and some will have no clue when the undertow of the whirlpool grabs them and pulls them down into darkness forever.

The important thing is to fight it, Bosch told himself. Always keep kicking. Always keep fighting the undertow.
Near the beginning of the book, Connelly has Bosch say that all ways of dieing are bad, so these paragraphs are the payoff to a theme he foreshadows early.


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