In A Lonely Place

In A Lonely Place

eBook - 2017
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A classic California noir with a feminist twist, this prescient 1947 novel exposed misogyny in post-World War II American society, making it far ahead of its time.

Los Angeles in the late 1940s is a city of promise and prosperity, but not for former fighter pilot Dix Steele. To his mind nothing has come close to matching "that feeling of power and exhilaration and freedom that came with loneness in the sky." He prowls the foggy city night--­bus stops and stretches of darkened beaches and movie houses just emptying out--seeking solitary young women. His funds are running out and his frustrations are growing. Where is the good life he was promised? Why does he always get a raw deal? Then he hooks up with his old Air Corps buddy Brub, now working for the LAPD, who just happens to be on the trail of the strangler who's been terrorizing the women of the city for months...

Written with controlled elegance, Dorothy B. Hughes's tense novel is at once an early indictment of a truly toxic masculinity and a twisty page-turner with a surprisingly feminist resolution. A classic of golden age noir, In a Lonely Place also inspired Nicholas Ray's 1950 film of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : New York Review Books, 2017
ISBN: 9781681371481
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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diaparalectdoxical
Jan 14, 2019

This novel, narrated in the first person by a serial killer, ranks with Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me and Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series as a harrowing Investigation of the psychopathic mind. The same avoidance of responsibility, the same paranoia and feelings of unstoppable personal power afflicts each killer. But Hughes’s novel contains a more acute social vision in that her killer’s rage stem directly from his hatred of and fear of women. And Hughes’s killer, Dix Steele, has more than met his match in Laurel Gray and Sylvia Nicolai, two sharp, tough women who quickly see through him. This novel’s timing is impeccable, there isn’t a wasted scene. The combination of vicious violence and helplessness in the killer Dix is convincing. The novel makes L.A. circa 1950 feel like a beach town. The descriptions of the beaches and the fog rolling in are beautiful depictions of nature. And wound as they are in the suspense in the novel, they give that nature a sinister feel.

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