Not exactly about books, but PG has a weakness for noir. Speaking of which, he may have to conduct another festival of Raymond Chandler quotes soon.
From The Wall Street Journal:
There is no noir more profoundly sad than Nicholas Ray’s “In a Lonely Place” (1950), which unfolds with dark lyricism against a backdrop of violence, cynicism and suspicion. One of Ray’s most indelible stories involving characters who lash out in pointless fury—and one of his most personal films—it incorporates melodrama, echoes of Shakespeare, and heart-stopping performances by Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.
François Truffaut called Ray “the poet of nightfall.” Eric Rohmer wrote, “Just as he is the poet of violence, Nicholas Ray is perhaps the only poet of love; it is the fascination peculiar to both feelings that obsesses him, more than the study of their origins and their close or distant repercussions.” And yet, “In a Lonely Place,” now available in a new release on DVD and Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection, continues to grow in stature, distilling as it does the essence of emotion.
Ray’s film is loosely based on Dorothy B. Hughes’s hypnotic 1947 novel about a psychopathic killer in Los Angeles, Dix Steele. Much was changed in the film, but paranoia and misogyny seep into its more tragic story as if from poisoned soil. A washed-up screenwriter who is accused of murder, Bogart’s Dix is prone to violent outbursts suggesting that he, too, could be dangerous to women.
. . . .
Dix invites Mildred (Martha Stewart), a checkroom girl, home with him to synopsize a trashy novel his friend and agent Mel ( Art Smith) has encouraged him to adapt. The next morning she is found strangled.
“Oh, I didn’t say I was a gentleman. I said I was tired,” Dix snaps, when asked by the police why he didn’t call for a taxi for Mildred.
The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)