Monday, June 30, 2014

Raymond Chandler to join Hollywood Walk of Fame

One of the all-time great crime writers, Raymond Chandler, a man who influenced so many novelists who came since, in his genre and beyond, will be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Los Angeles Times has reported. He will join the 2015 class, alongside the likes of Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman, etc), Juliana Marguiles (ER, The Good Wife), and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. An interesting crowd.

It's great that Chandler will be recognised in this way - few writers ever are (it's an 'honour' normally reserved for on-screen talent). Along with his hardboiled crime novels that helped reshape the genre, the creator of Phillip Marlowe was also a working screenwriter - more involved with adapting others' novels rather than his own, including Strangers on a Train and Double Indemnity

In a way, it's fitting that Chandler's name will now forever be etched on the seamy sidewalks of a city which he brought to vivid life in all its glory and squalor in his gritty tales. He has influenced countless Los Angeles writers since, including the likes of Michael Connelly and Jonathan Kellerman, who said of Chandler: "What keeps the reader turning pages are dead-eye observations of hypocrisy, self-delusion and evil, tormented characters about whose fate we come to care and an hypnotic sense of place that has never been surpassed by any other crime writer." Big call by Kellerman on the 'sense of place' comment, but many might agree. 

Chandler's honouring in this way also brings to mind the fact that few authors have been honoured in this way (Ray Bradbury and Dr Seuss are amongst the others). Are there other crime writers you think should be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame due to the adaptation of their books to the big and small screens? Should Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle make the grade? Or perhaps some more modern authors? 

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