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Let's All Kill Constance

by Ray Bradbury

Series: Crumley Mysteries (3)

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509837,872 (2.75)14
On a dismal evening in the previous century, an unnamed writer in Venice, California, answers a furious pounding at his beachfront bungalow door and again admits Constance Rattigan into his life. An aging, once-glamorous Hollywood star, Constance is running in fear from something she dares not acknowledge -- and vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, leaving the narrator two macabre books: twin listings of the Tinseltown dead and soon to be dead, with Constance's name included among them. And so begins an odyssey as dark as it is wondrous, as the writer sets off in a broken-down jalopy with his irascible sidekick Crumley to sift through the ashes of a bygone Hollywood -- a graveyard of ghosts and secrets where each twisted road leads to grim shrines and shattered dreams ... and, all too often, to death.… (more)
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
It's a Ray Bradbury book, so that's about all that needs to be said to make it clear that it's exquisitely written. The word choice, the flow, the rhythm - it's all poetry. That's not to say this book will be for everyone. It's not science fiction - it's a name drop to ancient Hollywood in a way and the characters riffing back and forth remind me of the classic detective types in black and white movies. The story is a strange one, but the words carrying you on the journey are gems. ( )
  Sean191 | Nov 13, 2018 |
The best strengths of the book lie within its ability to be satirical and completely outlandish while looking for all kinds of clues regarding who Constance really is and the mysterious deaths that have been taken place (a book with names and addresses, some of which are crossed out, appears in the beginning of the book, setting forth the remaining plot.) At it's height, it provides an excellent argument for the idea of escaping into various forms of people and characters, ultimately to escape yourself. At it's lowest, it's slightly above drivel. I think the book can be an exciting and engaging read but I'd much more highly recommend Bradbury's short stories any day of the week. ( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
I tried very hard to like this book, but the meandering plot and overwrought emotionality made this a painful read. I greatly admire his early work. But since the 1980s, Bradbury's florid style that seemed so refreshing and genuine in his early masterpieces, has seemed to me to slip more deeply with each new book into a kind of syrupy sweet nostalgia - very difficult to stomach. I thought his previous forays into noir fiction (the excellent Death is a Lonely Business and the very good A Graveyard for Lunatics) were wonderful exceptions to the downward spiral of his work. The unnamed narrator in these novels articulated Bradbury's belief in the virtues of naivete and sweetness, but was offset by the dark overtones of the plot and surrounding characters. But in this book, I'm afraid the molasses of his prose has once again overwhelmed everything else. ( )
  JFBallenger | Aug 14, 2012 |
I have never been one who fancied Ray Bradbury’s mystery novels. Reading “Let’s all kill Constance”, third in this particular series, I was kind of lost.

Essentially, an unnamed protagonist is pulled to his front door on a dark and stormy night by Constance, a wayward movie star who lives just down the beach. She is distraught, pushed over the edge by two “books of the dead”. The dead and nearly dead in these books are all know by her and seem to be harbingers of her own impending doom. the protagonist, along with a detective pal of his begin an informal investigation to help save her life, leading them to a priest, a psychic, a tomb and the ghosts of hollywood past.

all in all it was a decent story. I would suggest it to others and found that it was very enjoyable. The problem was the delay I experienced putting myself in the storyline. The clumsy (yet precise) speech and the conversations the characters had were the problem. The characters are all witty and seem to share constant inside jokes, without the courtesy of letting the reader in.

Once I picked up on the groove of their interactions, I was sitting in a much more comfortable position. Unfortunately, even as I neared the end of the book, I found I was reading and rereading passages to pick up the important details.

In review, it was a fantastic novel but not very accessible, even to an avid reader such as myself. The tongue in cheek humor, and self serving references to Fahrenheit 451 were enough to make the novel worth reading. Pick it up if you find interest in it.
( )
  Toast.x2 | Dec 16, 2010 |
The last of Bradbury's Venice, CA trilogy is perhaps the least satisfying of the three, but even so it is well worth the reading! It follow's 1985's "Death Is A Lonely Business" and 1990's "A Graveyard For Lunatics". ( )
  jastbrown | Jan 14, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated with love to my daughter ALEXANDRA, without whose help the Third Millennium might never have arrived. and again with gratitude and love to SID STEBEL
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It was a dark and stormy night.
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On a dismal evening in the previous century, an unnamed writer in Venice, California, answers a furious pounding at his beachfront bungalow door and again admits Constance Rattigan into his life. An aging, once-glamorous Hollywood star, Constance is running in fear from something she dares not acknowledge -- and vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, leaving the narrator two macabre books: twin listings of the Tinseltown dead and soon to be dead, with Constance's name included among them. And so begins an odyssey as dark as it is wondrous, as the writer sets off in a broken-down jalopy with his irascible sidekick Crumley to sift through the ashes of a bygone Hollywood -- a graveyard of ghosts and secrets where each twisted road leads to grim shrines and shattered dreams ... and, all too often, to death.

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