Whenever I read Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, I tend to feel that I could write like them. I just began Sara Gran's Dope and her writing is so sparse and simple, that it seems like anyone could write like her. Not the case. It's a perfectly rendered noir novel. 19 pages in, 224 pages left. I'm ready to go.
The bright sun outside was a shock after Maude's. It was one o'clock in the afternoon on May 14, 1950, in New York City. On Broadway I hailed a taxi to take me down to Fulton Street, and then I walked a few blocks until I found number 28. It was a quiet place, a tall narrow building that looked like someone had poured it in between two buildings on either side. The whole front of it was white stone carved up with clouds and faces and stars, and it came to a point at the top like a church. A doorman in a sharp blue uniform with gold braid opened the door for me with a big smile. Inside there were marble floors with clean red rugs and streams of people coming in and out, busy people in suits with briefcases and very important places to go. In the middle of the lobby was a big marble counter where a good-looking fellow in the same uniform sat guiding everyone on their busy way. But I already knew where I was going.