e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Authors - Chandler Raymond (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. The Big Sleep
2. The Long Goodbye
3. Playback
4. Raymond Chandler: Stories and
5. Raymond Chandler: Later Novels
6. The Little Sister
7. The Simple Art of Murder
8. Raymond Chandler: Collected Stories
9. Trouble Is My Business
10. Farewell, My Lovely
11. The High Window
12. The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler
13. Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
14. The Lady in the Lake, The Little
15. Raymond Chandler: Four Complete
16. The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler
17. The Big Sleep and Other Novels
18. Killer in the Rain
19. The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected
20. The Lady in the Lake

1. The Big Sleep
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 139 Pages (1988-07-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394758285
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When a dying millionaire hires Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.

"Chandler [writes] like a slumming angel and invest[s] the sun-blinded streets of Los Angelos with a romantic presence."
--Ross MacdonaldAmazon.com Review
"His thin, claw-like hands were folded loosely on the rug,purple-nailed. A few locks of dry white hair clung to his scalp, likewild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock." Published in 1939,when Raymond Chandler was 50, this is the first of the Philip Marlowenovels. Its bursts of sex, violence, and explosively direct prosechanged detective fiction forever. "She was trouble. She was tall andrangy and strong-looking. Her hair was black and wiry and parted inthe middle. She had a good mouth and a good chin. There was a sulkydroop to her lips and the lower lip was full." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (132)

5-0 out of 5 stars I need a cigarette.

Re: The first Phillip Marlowe novel, published in 1939. Marlowe works a blackmail case for a millionaire that soon involves the millionaire's nutjob daughters, murder and more awesome dialogue than you can imagine.

Outstanding: Everything. I mean it. I love everything about this book, but if I have to tie down one particular thing, it'd have to be the dialogue. I wish everyone spoke like this.

Unacceptable: The daughter's antics got a bit old after a bit.

Summary: I've read this book a few times over the years and it never ceases to thrill. It's one of those books that I read when I'm feeling down, or that maybe I don't want to be a writer, or when I have a fedora, a cigarette, some whiskey and no case to occupy my time.


4-0 out of 5 stars Deserves the "classic" designation
I thoroughly enjoyed this "greatest and archetypal noir detective thriller," as one reviewer called it. I had heard other mystery writers compared (favorably or unfavorably) to Raymond Chandler, and now realize why...he was one of the first to write in this style (this book published 1939). I kept thinking throughout that Philip Marlowe sounded like a Humphrey Bogart character...only to find out from reading the reviews that indeed he WAS played by Humphrey Bogart in a movie with Lauren Bacall. Cool to read the book that is credited with starting the genre.

The protagonist, Private Investigator Philip Marlowe, is the character who dominates the book...his personality, his thinking, his dialogue. He's cool, he's suave, and he's clever. Often he's humorous or insanely inappropriate (especially by today's politically correct standards), but that's part of his charm. I highlighted a few lines that I enjoyed or admired:

"The General spoke again, slowly, using his strength as carefully as an out-of-work show-girl uses her last good pair of stockings."

"Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form itself on the edge of consciousness."

"You can have a hangover from other things than alcohol. I had one from women. Women made me sick."

"It seemed a little too pat. It had the austere simplicity of fiction rather than the tangled woof of fact."

"She'd make a jazzy weekend, but she'd be wearing for a steady diet."

I agree with other reviewers who admit that while the plot is somewhat convoluted, the characters and dialogue make the read totally worthwhile.

There's nothing modern about this great mystery, but it deserves its classic status.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Very good book, possibly one of my favorites.If you like great stories then you should get this book.And the fact that the Big Lebowski is loosely based on this is a huge plus.

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 - Messy and Convoluted, but still Marlowe
Although Modern Library skips over it, Time tucks 'The Big Sleep' snugly between the covers of its best English-Language novels list - though it seems reasonable to think it's included as a stand-in for Chandler's total oeuvre and for the book's impact on the genre rather than as an indication of its relative merits. That assumption is based on the opinion that Chandler got better as he went along, and also that, thanks to Bogey and Bacall, 'The Big Sleep' is probably his most recognizable title. Still, as far as first novels go, it's little short of amazing, and it's easy to see how it spawned a cottage industry of parody and imitation that is still vibrant today.

Too often, when returning to the original source of such an iconic character or literary convention, the overwhelming amount of homage, tribute and copycat material can make the prototype look common. However, there are a few that, in their earliest incarnations, retain their unique attraction despite the odds against them (Sherlock Holmes, for example, and I think a case could also be made for Burrough's early Tarzan). To that short list, I'd add Phillip Marlowe, and his introduction in 'The Big Sleep'. How much more could it be - "I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it".

One may as well try to summarize 'War and Peace' as 'The Big Sleep' - it hardly seems worth it. It's about a private detective as he solves a case - but really, that's just window dressing. Everyone knows it's about Marlowe - hang-dog Marlowe as he tries not to drink too much while running up against the dirty underside of humanity, mostly treating it as if it had a chance to be something better than it was, but still prepared when it wasn't. Tough guy but not really, honest, more of a knight-errant than mid-century America wanted or deserved. Those sort of guys get crucified now - probably would have then too, if he'd drawn too much attention to himself.

Maybe Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles - the Petri dish from which he plucked Marlowe - resembled what the world would look like a few short years later, but Marlowe seems like one of the first modern men in print (which may also account for his longevity). He's a man who grapples with the rest of the world with no framework in place to guide his actions other than the one he's built himself. That's Marlowe's attraction - he's beholden to nothing other than his innate sense of right and wrong, which, for him, is a far stricter taskmaster than any abstraction. Regardless of his flaws, it ennobles him, and makes him a sort of moral guidepost - even though he knows holding to his beliefs is just as likely to bring him lumps as well as luck. Strangely enough - or maybe not so strange - Marlowe makes that appealing.

For those who have never read Chandler's novels because they thought that the hard-boiled private eye genre was not for them may find themselves pleasantly surprised picking him up for the first time. It isn't necessary to start with 'The Big Sleep' -structurally it's messy and convoluted - but it functions as well as any of Chandler's other novels, in that it highlights his iconic private eye. Beyond the descriptive style and the snappy patter (another of Chandler's strengths), even beyond the particulars of any given storyline, Phillip Marlowe is recommended for his tired faith that it's still possible to hold your head up in this world.

4-0 out of 5 stars more elaborate than I had expected
Having read Maltese Falcon, a natural next step was to give the other "noir" master, Raymond Chandler a read.In many respects the two authors are similar: both wrote during the same time period, both protagonists are private detectives working in California, and (in broad terms) Sam Spade (Hammet) and Philip Marlowe (Chandler) are similar characters: hard-drinking single men, street-smart, smart-alecks who crack wise to the police and often find themselves in situations that require quick thinking or quick fists to get out of.Yet I liked Marlowe better.Chandler is less the mysogynist than Hammet (even making allowances for the time in which they wrote, Chandler's women are less objectified and two dimensional), which is important to me.(With this said, women are far from the independent, strong persons of contemporary fiction.)

In Marlowe's debut, he is given a case of blackmail by a wealthy LA invalid who wants to know who is extorting him: both his daughters have a tendency to get into trouble.An ancillary case is what happened to his son-in-law.Marlowe quickly finds things far from simple blackmail, as a series of murders result, exposing a seedy, vulgar side of the lives LA's wealthy and powerful.True to the genre, all the loose ends aren't tied together until literarlly the final few pages, with a typically bitter-sweet conclusion.But what really gave me a kick was the dialogue - vintage noir:

"All I want is to find out is she dummying up on you, kid.If that's the way you say it is, everything is jakeloo.You can put the bite on the peeper and be on your way."

"I was as empty of life as a scarcrows' pockets.I went out to the kitchenette and drank two cups of black coffee.You can have a hangover from other things than alcohol.I had one from women.Women made me sick."

"It might have annoyed him, but business was business, and you have to hold your teeth clamped around Hollywood to keep from chewing on stray blondes."

The conclusion - and the motive - was convoluted and complicated, overly so, I think.This reservation aside, it was a whole lot of fun to read. ... Read more

2. The Long Goodbye
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 384 Pages (1988-08-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394757688
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he's divorced and re-married and who ends up dead. and now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (66)

4-0 out of 5 stars Really very good
I think I am probably partial to Farewell, My Lovely, maybe, probably because Robert Altman's film version of The Long Goodbye interferes so much with the enjoyment of the book. A very good film, but not at all the book. (And Sterling Hayden as Wade is far better casting than Elliot Gould as Marlowe.) And maybe Marlowe is just a little too heroic here, the not accepting money, the decision at the end, regarding Eileen Wade's confession, that surely would have gotten him killed.
Still, some wonderful lines in this, including, for my money, Chandler's best: "The tragedy of life ... is not that the beautiful things die young, but that they grow old and mean."
(And an aside: couldn't Amazon give half stars? There are a lot of books I wish I could have given four and a half, but couldn't give five.)

1-0 out of 5 stars Overlong Goodbye
I found the book tedious. I wasn't interested in the characters and I wasn't able to finish it. I realize that the genre style of detective novel was more or less created by Raymond Chandler and has inspired many, mostly second rank authors today. He does, of course, have an undeniable gift for description and he doesn't insult your intelligence, but the plotting of this book is dense, hard to follow and ,in general, is disappointing. The clicheed, dated wisecracking is hard to take, but that's just me, I guess. I just don't like the genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars At the Top of American Tough Guy Fiction
While Dashiell Hammett was the first and did the most to create American Tough Guy Fiction as its own Genre of almost respectable Literature (just read "The Maltese Falcon" and see why), still, looking at each writer's complete works, Raymond Chandler was the more consistently excellent writer.While everybody drank too much back then, Hammet was the worst drunk of all, and it seems to have affected some of his work.But Chandler stayed surprisingly flawless.Yes, some readers do prefer Hammett... it is a close call... but when I do re-reads, I consistently reach for Raymond Chandler first.

What about "The Long Goodbe" in particular.Well, I am reading it now because it is also in print in French and in German.I'm reading it through in all three languages.Its amazing how close the German runs to the English, but the French is close enough that one can still tell that it is the same book (a triumph of French Translation, as it turns out).

Oh, that reminds me of Raymond Chandler's huge stylistic innovation, that he wrote the books in the first person tense from his main character's point of view... "I saw this, I did that..." In most other fiction we have this Omniscient Third Person Observer... a God-Like Narrator that tells the story and describes the characters -- "Liz tossed the stone at Darcy, and Darcy derisively sneered, feeling contempt for all beneath him".With Raymond Chandler we experience everything through the perceptual and intellectual filters of his Private Detective Phillip Marlowe.It definitely helps in establishing reader rapport and identification with the hero... the books first person experience subtly becomes the readers first person experience... when Phillip Marlowe bumps his toe, the reader says "ouch!"

Oh, this edition in particular is a fine book.The paper is good and the print is big, and the photo on the cover is nothing that is so embarrassingly stupid that one needs to hide the book from one's friends.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still the best mystery novel ever written
This is a book for people who love to read. They are a small group.

Elmore Leonard once said, concerning his writing, that he "leaves out the stuff people don't want to read." I interpret that to mean that he writes for people who don't like to read, or, rather, who haven't the patience or attention span to read other than dialogue. There are many of them, those folks who don't like to read, and ironically they are the ones keeping the publishing industry alive. You will find them bragging in parties or writers' groups about how many books they've read that week. "I'm reading five right now, two almost finished, I'm about to begin another, and all together I've read seventy-two this year."

These are people who are more interested in "getting through" a book rather than taking the time to enjoy it. I understand. In younger and less discriminating days I did the same. Now I can barely find a handful of books a year I deem worthy to begin, most of which I find I haven't the stomach to finish. And when the contemporary standard of excellence in the mystery genre has become Evanovich, where is one to turn?

To the past, unfortunately, for the wasteland that has become today's fiction brings a thirst for quality which can only quenched by quality. 'The Long Goodbye' remains the standard of excellence for mystery novels, and though many continue to assault the citadel, all continue to fall abysmally short.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Chandler page turner...
The Long Goodbye easily rates as one of Chandler's best.Farewell, My Lovely and The Lady in Lake are personal favorites, but I think they've been eclipsed.Chandler's novels are short.Sometimes, frustratingly so.One isn't so eager that they be over.The Long Goodbye remedies this coming in at 380+ pages. 380+ pages of pure, unadulterated, magnificent Chandler.

A wealthy and philandering trust fund daughter is slain in a horrible manner.Suspicion quickly falls on her peripatetic husband - a man with whom Philip Marlowe is already acquainted.An untimely death also comes to a local novelist which serves to tie a plot in knots that only Marlowe can unravel.

It is a work well done.Chandleresque suspense, pace, and that beguiling wit fill The Long Goodbye from start to finish. Marlowe's interaction with the local police is worth the price of admission alone.Throw in some goons with an illicit habit or two, a few stiffs, and the 1940's Los Angeles aura and you've got a book almost impossible to put down.It may well be Chandler's finest.5 stars. ... Read more

3. Playback
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 176 Pages (1988-08-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394757661
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Marlowe is hired by an influential lawyer he's never herd of to tail a gorgeous redhead, but decides he prefers to help out the redhead. She's been acquitted of her alcoholic husband's murder, but her father-in-law prefers not to take the court's word for it.

"Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence:" -- Ross Macdonald ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Ray's Fans
Fans of Raymond Chandler admire his terse and lyrical prose, his uncanny metaphors, and the lonely but winning integrity of Philip Marlowe, who drinks too much but solves his cases through gritty relentlessness and shrewd insight. Fans also like Chandler's deft use of devious dames, tough cops on the edge of the law, suave crime bosses, and ruthless tycoons who, behind the scenes, pull all the strings.

So what about PLAYBACK, Chandler's last novel featuring Marlowe? Well, most of these elements are in place. But PLAYBACK also shows subtle changes in Chandler's touch, which have the effect of lessening this work. As a result, I'd say this is the only Chandler novel I've read (this is my fifth) where the strong point is the plot, not the lyrical prose or Marlowe's sour heroism and decency.

The primary quality missing from PLAYBACK is Ray's lyrical voice. Hard to say what happened here. But Ray, who died the year PLAYBACK was published, gives the sharpest metaphors and best soliloquy to Henry Clarendon IV, an elderly hotel lobby-sitter who gives a thoughtful and poetic spin to hospitalization and a quiet ensuing death.

Likewise, Marlowe, while still lonely, breaks through in PLAYBACK and actually connects carnally to two female characters. But is doing so, the gas of melodrama also escapes from Phil's tough shell. "If I couldn't ever be gentle," Marlowe says, "I wouldn't deserve to be alive."

Finally, the cops, who are usually Marlowe's hard-guy adversaries, are disciplined professionals in PLAYBACK. This means there is less conversation-is-combat, as Phil works well with Captain Allessandro to clarify the situation of Betty Mayfield and the fate of dirt-bag Larry Mitchell.

Regardless, this a worthy book for Ray's fans, even if it lacks the usual zing.

4-0 out of 5 stars And, thus, it ends...
Playback is the last of Chandler's seven Marlowe novels and it is with sadness that I complete the series.Having read the books in chronological order, it is easy to see where Chandler peaked and where he ebbed.Still, most writers should aspire to an ebbing Chandler as even his most desultory efforts are well worth the reader's time.

Marlowe is employed to tail a young woman of wealth and privilege arriving from the east coast.Her checkered past has prompted her to seek the anonymity that distance can provide.There's no such luck for the young lady, though, as blackmailers, gumshoes, and gangland goons descend on a coastal community (La Jolla, CA) to extract whatever bounty they can find.

Playback isn't the big, booming finale one might expect.One assumes Chandler meant to keep at it.Because of this, Philip Marlowe, private eye extraordinaire, noir's nemesis to LA-area crime, just sort of fades away.It's a good enough story.It's just not enough of a story to end Philip Marlowe's career.Nevertheless, I recommend that all lovers of mystery, LA history, and exceptional writing read Chandler.Playback = 4 stars, but Raymond Chandler = 5.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rumpled, tired but still on his game
Most readers find out why Raymond Chandler earned iconic if not classical status by starting out with "The Big Sleep."I did not.I started with this, the last of his Philip Marlowe series to be published before Chandler's death.It is not a book that would alone have staked the writer's legendary reputation but it has its moments and it does a terrific job of creating an airtight world with an ethos all its own.

"Playback" gives LA private eye Philip Marlowe a case that is more difficult by reason of its simplicity.All he has to do is follow a subject and report on where she goes, with no other information supplied.The first mystery for him is why.In fact, as the cigarettes and liquor come out in force and blood begins to spill, the main question becomes, is she good or bad in the terms of a world where there are no children, no school teachers, no church workers, but there are hoods, hotel habitués, cops, arrogant lawyers, private eyes and women who are always sexually available, even in an era where a morals charge can still ruin a life.Chandler works the noirish world of a 1950's southern California resort town in off season to great effect, sorting out its code and Marlowe's way of making peace with it.

Is this dated? Not nearly as much as I thought it would be.I am not a big fan of the hard-boiled detective genre, but in Chandler's capable hands it offers interest and ideas to chew over.

3-0 out of 5 stars Marlowe's Last Stand
This was Raymond Chandler's last novel, published before he died. It doesn't seem quite up to his earlier books. This novel is shorter in length and less rich in details about the rich and corrupt. Chandler had worked for years as a scriptwriter in Hollywood. His drinking may have flushed away his talents. This 1958 story does not have the range of contrasts in his earlier stories (not necessarily a bad thing). The monetary figures are far out of date. An $18 a day hotel room doesn't imply the luxury it did then.

Philip Marlowe receives an early morning telephone call to follow a passenger on the Super Chief. [That was an express railroad train in those bygone days.] Marlowe does this even he knows little about this job. [He needed the money?] He learns others are interested in his subject for their own reasons. Was she a murderess who got off because of a quirk in the law? [Chandler must have been talking to Erle Stanley Gardner.] Is there a nasty blackmailer pestering Eleanor King? Will somebody stop him? Marlowe has the same kind of adventures with the same kind of people that you find in his earlier works. One big difference is that middle-aged Marlowe refuses payment from a client, as if money means nothing to him! There is less violence too. In the past Marlowe suffered beatings as if Chandler was secretly angry with his fictional character. The refusal to accept payment for his work is so fantastic as to question the judgment of Chandler. Will Marlowe marry a rich heiress to live the life of Nick Charles? That was a dead-end for Dashiell Hammett. There are echoes of scenes from his earlier works. And old, rich, and sick man hired Marlowe but the ending leaves few people satisfied. Or is that the most realistic ending?

Phillip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's classic noir hard-boiled, fundamentally honest private detective forever literarily associated with Los Angeles and its means streets is a bit off course here in his search for the inevitable exotic/diabolical `missing woman' (`dame' for the non-politically correct types) in trouble in the Hollywood film glitter mill. Old Marlowe is going uptown here, or so he is led to believe.But it seems to me that it is more than the geography that off Marlowe's beaten path here. I love Chandler as a great writer with a good ear for the West Coast American scene in the 1940's but hasn't Marlowe followed that woman, or her "sister", before in a previous novel?Except that she wasn't an actress, or had some little devilish sister from Kansas. You get my drift.Old Chandler's Marlowe is starting to run out of steam in the theme department. By the way, beware of those Kansas women; they are hell on your average California rough-and-tumble shamus.

Sure there is plenty of sparse but functional dialogue, physical action and a couple of plot twists but Marlowe needs to think about that rest home for worn-out indigent gumshoes (since he never made enough money). He has taken one too many hits on the head for the latest worthy cause. Give me those background oil derricks that sound like money churning out the wealth while looking for General Sternwood's Rusty Regan in The Big Sleep or the run down stucco flats in pursue of Moose's Velma in Farewell, My Lovely any day. However, even on his uppers as always with Chandler you get high literature in a plebeian package. Read on.
... Read more

4. Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America)
by Raymond Chandler
Hardcover: 1216 Pages (1995-10-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$23.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883011078
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Amazon.com Review
If you're looking for the perfect gift for yourself or someother lover of mysteries, this beautifully-made volume from theLibrary of America series will definitely prove that you care enoughto send the very best. And if you haven't picked up The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, orThe HighWindow recently, you'll be amazed at how well they stand up to thetest of time. (A second handsome volume, Later Novels & OtherWritings -- including The LongGoodbye -- is also available.) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Chandler Defeats Time at its Own Game

Raymond Chandler - from out of the past comes a master storyteller.His style is remarkable; smooth interaction and dialog,the plots intricate, well designed, reader friendly; but it was the three-dimensional detailing that I enjoyed the most when I finally discovered this out-of-the ordinary mystery writer.This particular grouping of his work by Library of America contains a selection of his short pulp fiction writings. These are splendid, each within a little world of it's own, and one marvels at his imagination. For genuine reading entertainment, Chandler is hard to put down once started.

"Blackmailers Don't Shoot" - is a misnomer for sure.Everybody in this tale will shoot at anything that moves quickly given half a chance.Four men - three hoods and a "maybe" kind of good guy - are roughed up, betrayed by each other and killed within a short span of time over the foibles of a beautiful actress with more "whim encouraged by ego" than good sense.

"Finger man" - testifying before a Grand Jury and helping put away a wise guy can be bad for the health.So can Casinos, mob money, political influence in underworld activities; putting a street-wise detective at risk for taking the rap after receiving skimmed money from a desperate woman working both sides of the fence.One of the most intriguing parts of the action involves using a cat as a most effective weapon of opportunity.

"Nevada Gas" - the first casualty of the night belonged to a shady politico who promised to grease the wheels of justice and "get the half-brother of a gangster" out of the hot seat for a respectable fee; the service was bought and paid for, but wasn't delivered.That usually spells trouble in the world of exchanged favors and crooked politics, especially when playing for keeps with "tough guys". These particular people had their own way of "dealing with a double-dealer" - a back seat with no door handles and a sweet odor of almonds.

"Pearls are a Nuisance" - in a vast departure from the others comes this bit of tomfoolery.In fact, you have to get into it awhile to figure out what he is doing; then it dawns on you with a big laugh.Picture Tom and Dick Smothers as private detectives, only Tom has a snootful.Or Leslie Neilsen with a sidekick. It starts off with the "detective" getting a call from his girlfriend who suspects a strand of phony pearls has been heisted from her employer and she thinks she knows who did it.As she outlines the theory to him, she casually mentions that the suspected perp "tried to kiss her."Bristling with testosterone, our man makes his way immediately to the perps address to confront him - not about the pearls so much as about the "tried to kiss" thing.Brandy and Scotch bottles appear as if from nowhere; after a very unusual brawl the two tipsy adversaries become fast friends and determine they can solve the mystery over another bottle of Scotch.It is truly a hoot, and totally unexpected.Forsooth, after reading Chandler's bio, one might suspect he had been hitting another flask of his own as wrote this one.

"Goldfish" - in another tale of precious pearls heisted, "goldfish" turned out to be a password of sorts - once that password was delivered, the answers to the next questions better be right and our detective is flying by the seat of his pants in that department; he knows just enough to get himself killed if he doesn't play it right.But the mastermind had outsmarted himself as most of them ultimately tend to do.The theft itself turned out to be the easiest part of the idea; because the merchandise became too hot to handle.A bloodhound-type pursuit ensues with a thrilling ending that was one of a kind.

These short stories, mingling with the novels, make for long, lingering evenings of reading enjoyment if you're in the mood for mystery, well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's no Mystery - this is real literature
There was a time when Chandler was put into the 'mystery writer' cubbyhole and forgotten - that time is gone.Read this book and learn why Chandler should be taught in every school/university that cares about giving its students the tools necessary to appreciate great writing.Read this book and find yourself smiling at how good the writing is, how clver the plots - how interesting the characters.Read this book and see what great American writer truly rivals the great European writer sof the 19th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff
Second only to Dashiell Hammett, the works of Raymond Chandler are the best in American crime fiction.Great style with words, intrieging plots, fascinating characters, I enjoy everthing he has written.The Big Sleep is also a wonderful movie with Bogie playing the lead and Bacall the vamp.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pour the scotch and smoke 'em if you've got 'em
What I consider one of the greatest descriptive writers in the Western cannon, Chandler can transport you in to old Los Angeles.Every story will make you crave a stiff drink and perhaps even leaving a smell of tabacoo in your clothes.I recomend these stories to people who want to understand LA better because Chandler caught the essence of the city that can even be seen today.Look down the 2nd street tunnel at 2 am and see that barrel of a gun or drive to the Rosebowl and see why he makes reference that there are no sidewalks in that wealthy neighborhood.If you want to learn about noir, there is a reason Chandler is considered one of the fathers.

5-0 out of 5 stars The cliches were invented right here
There are Hammett fans and Chandler fans.I am for Hammett, but Chandler's work remains compelling.The plots are nonsense but the metaphors are the purest gold. The opening scenes of THE BIG SLEEP and FAREWELL, MY LOVELY are delicious every time. ... Read more

5. Raymond Chandler: Later Novels and Other Writings: The Lady in the Lake / The Little Sister / The Long Goodbye / Playback /Double Indemnity / Selected Essays and Letters (Library of America)
by Raymond Chandler
Hardcover: 1088 Pages (1995-10-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$15.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883011086
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Amazon.com Review
Raymond Chandler is arguably the best American pulpnovelist. His prose is so acutely visual, his characters so raw andintense that it is small wonder that all but one of his books havebeen made into movies. And his hero Philip Marlowe has graduated intoAmerican legend. Together with its companion volume (Stories and EarlyNovels), Later Novels and Other Writings forms the mostcomplete Chandler collection in print. In addition to his laternovels, this collection contains selected essays and letters,biographical information, and textual as well as explanatory notes. Asan added bonus, the editor has included Chandler's screenplay toDouble Indemnity, the classic Billy Wilder film adapted fromJames M. Cain's novel. You're able tocompare the script to the finished movie and have the rare opportunityto see how one major crime novelist altered and interpreted another. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a deal!
This book is one of the best deals out there - a month of great reading by one of America's greatest authors for the price of a poorly written potboiler by some present day, soon-to-be-forgotten thrill wrter (oh, if only there were thrills!)

Rewad this book and have syourself a ball.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sidewalk by the Sea
I started reading the older novels for a baseline comparison with what I read today. It's also more fun to review a book that doesn't already have hundreds of other reviews - simply in order to avoid repeating.I have a variety of interests but detective novels (well written) have always appealed to me because so much human nature was involved.Even what was supposed to be "Fiction" likely turns up as "Truth in Exercise" somewhere along the line - crime and ingenuity are constant companions and the best of the novelists turn that to distinct advantage when striving to entertain us with their own concept of it.

Take Raymond Chandler. Even though he is out of the past, Mr. Chandler is a "must read" if you enjoy detective tales, written, detailed, enhanced to the 9th degree with excellent exchange of dialogue that never misses a beat or a connection to his plot.He "sculpts" his story - not only of the face of the detective, but of the out-of-the ordinary characters that detective, Phillip Marlowe,meets along the way as well.Marlowe himself is a tarnished hero, but his Chandler-Given basic instinct in his own integrity give us hope as we read; there are a few left to be counted on even through the human frailties.He even throws in a casually undertaken, but carefully worded sex scene or two now and again for heat.A sign of his times emerge in the way the the sex scenes are delivered, but they are quite effective in their undertaking, nonetheless.Maybe that will continue to be "part of the charm" of the older books; their "stern and structured" editors served to make them clever rather than graphic in their technique. (Perhaps I should hasten to add that I don't see anything wrong with literary license of today's more graphic scenes, either.A good book is a good book in any era).

They are all excellent but in the interests of length, I am focusing on "Play Back" in this review solely because one unexpected scenario really captured my imagination.In "Play Back", a sudden, unexpected burst of independent thought occurs in an exclusive hotel lobby with an old man - a character on the side - who somehow comes front and center even though he has not played much of a part in the whole up to that point -who was one of the "chosen few", born wealthy, built to stay that way, and had nothing more to do but keenly observe the foibles of the others around him, of which he became extraordinarly fine-tuned.It is finesse - the element that sets certain writers apart from the others - and which I have noticed present throughout the books by Chandler I have read;is a remarkable set of ideas the old man in the lobby bounces off the taciturn Marlowe, who is more interested in the immediate whereabouts of an individual he is purusing than in the interesting conversation of a man past his own time.

The story starts, of course, with the detective, Marlowe, being hired through an attorney, which gives him "privilege" to operate through many jurisdictions and precincts of law enforcement as he begins to place the pieces of the puzzle.The attorney is acting as go-between for someone else who wishes the protection of client confidentiality.Marlowe is hired to find a specific girl on the run whose identity has changed -but is offered little else in the way of firm details to go on, which continually prompt him to wonder if she is being located or simply stalked with intent to harm.The girl herself is an unaccountable enigma; part vamp, part sensible but vulnerable, part criminal element within which she exposes and switches off and on as he encounters her.She is the unwilling but unapologetic reason behind several "train wrecks" along the way, which Marlowe considers just part of his day's work; and money never motivates him.He is immune to the lure of the green and therefore is his own man at all times, finding the truth becomes much easier for him because the haze is absent from his eyes.

Chandler's books are carefully contrived intrigue waiting for the reader who wants more than a dime novel delivered with their action. And "Library of America" is a true and worthy champion of literary causes - a refusal to allow the best to die simply because time passes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be much better
An excellent and to my knowledge unsurpassed collection of Chandler's later writings. I would have liked more letters, and could have done without Double Endemnity, but this this is a minor complaint. More than 1,000 pages of Chandler in one handy and respectable looking volume, that feels more like the Bible than Black Mask.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any noir fan.
The two volumns are a must read for any noir, mystery or detective story fan.The quality of both volumns is great: it's library quality.It only contains the more public stories and novels and essays.To find the ones Chandler did not want well known you have to look elsewhere (he cut them up and put them in the novels you see the this set).The only criticism I have is that the Notes and Chandler Time-line are both a little weak.There are lots of slang and arcane jargon of the 30s and 40s that should have been defined.Only a small number of entries are found.But, if you want to read the master, this is it.Just buy both volumns and then look for the "lost stories" of Chandler to fill in the gaps.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maturity in his writing
After reading his earlyworks you can see how Chandler used his previous stories and ideas to develop these incredible novels featuring his most famous detective Philip Marlowe. ... Read more

6. The Little Sister
by Raymond Chandler
 Hardcover: 256 Pages (1996-07-08)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000023VWT
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Her name is Orfamay Quest and she's come all the way from Manhattan, Kansas, to find her missing brother Orrin. Or least ways that's what she tells PI Philip Marlowe, offering him a measly twenty bucks for the privilege. But Marlowe's feeling charitable though it's not long before he wishes he wasn't so sweet. You see, Orrin's trail leads Marlowe to luscious movie starlets, uppity gangsters, suspicious cops and corpses with ice picks jammed in their necks. When trouble comes calling, sometimes it's best to pretend to be out. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Little Sister is big crime noire entertainment from the pen of the peerless Raymond Chandler
On one of those clear bright mornings in Los Angeles the little sister sashayed into the spartan office of Private Investigator Philliip Marlowe. The dame was from Manhatten Kansas fresh from Sunday School and service in a doctor's office. Her name was Quest and she was seeking her brother who had left the cornfields for the lush sinful landscape of 1949 Los Angeles. This is the opening scene in the "The Little Sister" which is an excellent late novel by Raymond Chandler author of such hardboiled detective classics as "The Big Sleep"; "The Long Goodbye";
"Farwell My Lovely"; "The Lady in the Lake" and "Playback."
The plot is convoluted and difficult to follow; the characters are grotesques from Miss Quest to movie queen Mavis Weld, the evil Steelgrave a mobster from Cleveland and the Latino beauty Dolores Gonzalez (who seeks to seduce Marlowe). We also get a trip to a movie studo; rich allusive writing about Los Angeles and the world weariness endemic to the disillusioned soul of Phillip Marlowe. Marlowe is the narrator of this opus.
Chandler could turn a phrase and keep your fingers flipping the 250 pages of another crime classic. Excellent writing and an entertaining visit to the underworld will keep you enthralled. Read Chandler at all costs!

5-0 out of 5 stars Be careful of that knock on the door...
This is classic Marlowe. Perhaps one of the lesser works. It has everything thrown in except the kitchen sink - and even that makes an appearance! Crime writer Sam Millar's Karl Kane series has been compared to Marlowe, and it's easy to see why, once you're read this little gem. Go buy it. You'll love it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sadly, The Little Sister is Weak
This one starts out so promisingly, with the brilliantly described visit of the girl from Manhattan (Kansas), but as in The Big Sleep, the plot wanders away into improbability and even incomprehensibility (Chandler himself complained in letters of the trouble he was having plotting this one).There are the usual jerk cops and wicked women, but we've seen them all before in Chandler's novels.What's somewhat new is the truly corrosive and bitter tone, and that gets pretty tiring.Some of the writing is excellent--Chandler was a wonderful writer, but there just is no good plot and interesting characters to hang the plot on (and the caricatured Latina actress is dreadful, though she eventually is somewhat explained), so we're just left with a sour aftertaste.And I couldn't believe it when Marlowe accepted the drugged cigarette from the shady doctor.If Marlowe's that dumb after all those years, he deserves all the sappings he gets!He should have known not to accept treats from shady doctors by this time.

New Chandler readers should try his masterpiece, Farewell, My Lovely, or the intricately yet cleanly and cleverly-plotted (and underrated) The Lady in the Lake.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not the best Marlowe story...
Having read The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, The High Window, and The Lady in the Lake in quick succession, I found The Little Sister stands at number 4 of 5 in entertainment value.It just isn't one of the more compelling.Marlowe is still terrific, but the plot doesn't stoke the fire.

An idiosyncratic young woman travels from Kansas to locate a missing brother in LA.Things progress when it is discovered that the siblings have an actress sister as well.There's murder (with ice picks!), drugs, and plenty of skullduggery, but one just doesn't get the immersive 40's-era LA experience that other Chandler novels afford.

Period and place are essential to the full enjoyment of Chandler's novels.It is both the grist for, and the reflection of, film noir.For me, The Little Sister lacked this certain quality.Perhaps, it was too insular with its small town hoods and small time actresses, but the most likely explanation is it just didn't measure up.

If this is your first Marlowe novel, perhaps you feel differently. Keep reading.There is so much more in store.4 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
THE LITTLE SISTER is terrific mystery that concludes with a gruesome incident of sudden (albeit implausible) poetic justice. By my count, TLS has five murders and a suicide, with Philip Marlowe a step too slow to prevent any crime but way ahead of the cops (and this reader) as he identifies the perps and unravels their interlaced motives.

There are lots of standard Raymond Chandler elements in TLS, including gangsters, devious deadly dames, and a film-noir Los Angeles. But in contrast to other Chandler novels I've read, there seems to be even less effort to elucidate the sour integrity of the lonely Marlowe. Since this is the fifth novel in the series, Chandler probably felt such explication would add little to, and might actually detract from, his spare and disciplined style. On the other hand, Chandler tells us more about the movie business in TLS and his dialogue is never better. Among my marginalia is: "Conversation as combat."

In TLS, it's the cops that bring out the best in Ray. When they're on the page, Chandler's wonderful metaphors seem sharpest, his skillful screen writer's dialogue carries the most freight, and his rhetoric absolutely soars. Here's Chandler letting loose, as Lieutenant Christy French berates Marlowe:

"It's like this with us, baby. We're coppers and everybody hates our guts. And as if we didn't have enough trouble, we have to have you. As if we didn't get pushed around enough by the guys in the corner offices, the City Hall gang, the day chief, the night chief, the Chamber of Commerce, His Honor the Mayor. ...We spend our lives turning over dirty underwear and sniffing rotten teeth. We go up dark stairways to get a gun punk with a skinful of hop and sometimes we don't get all the way up, and our wives wait dinner that night and all the other nights. We don't come home anymore. And nights we do come home, we come home so [expletive] tired, we can't eat or sleep or even read the lies the papers print about us. So we lie awake at night in a cheap house on a cheap street..."

Highly recommended.
... Read more

7. The Simple Art of Murder
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 384 Pages (1988-09-12)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394757653
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Prefaced by the famous Atlantic Monthly essay of the same name, in which he argues the virtues of the hard-boiled detective novel, this collection mostly drawn from stories he wrote for the pulps demonstrates Chandler's imaginative, entertaining facility with the form. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Raymond Chandler's "The Simple Art of Murder" is simply the art of hard boiled fiction by the genre's master Raymond Chandler
Ross MacDonald wrote of his crime fiction mentor "Raymond Chandler" that he "...wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sunblinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence." L.A. is the main character in "The Simple Art of Murder" an excellent collection of short stories by Chandler. In these pages we meet tough shamuses. world weary dames, corrupt politicians and cops on the make. Though Phillip Marlowe is not to be seen in these pages most of the stories are seen through the eyes of a private dick who is immersed in a heap of trouble.
The stories in the collection are: Spanish Blood; I'll be Waiting; The King in Yellow; Pearls are a Nuisance' Pickup on Main Street; Smart-Aleck Kill; Guns at Cyrano's and Nevada Gas. All of this sordid and grim yarns include murder, slugging matches, taut dialogue and low life types.
You probably won't remember the convoluted plots but you will marvel at Chandler's abilityto word pain the contents of a room; draw a Dickensian picture of a character in a few short lines and savor the ambience of decadent Los Angeles from the 1930s to post World War II. Rivers of alcohol are consumed in the stories; Chandler was himself a notorious alcoholic cutting down on his literary output and his screenwriting work for Hollywood.
The stories in this collection were culled from pulp fiction periodicals Chandler wrote for to keep the money coming into his home.
The Preface to the collectionis the much admired Chandlerian essay on "The Simple Art of Murder" in which he discusses the art of the crime story.
The more you read Chandler the more you will enjoy his mastery of the English language as it is spoken in the United States. Chandler makes ample use of metaphors, similies, slang and tough guy argot. Read him and relish the genius of the City of Angels chronicler of crime!

4-0 out of 5 stars classic essay, historical shorts
The Simple Art Of Murder is worth reading for the eponymous essay, first published in 1944, which opens the book. It describes the shift in the genre of detective fiction from the neat-and-tidy society popularized by Agatha Christie or even Arthur Canon Doyle to the grittier, darker world mastered by Dashiell Hammett and later embraced by Raymond Chandler.

The works in this compilation are obviously classics of the genre, and were the stepping stones on which Chandler developed his style which was later used in his more famous works, the novels featuring Philip Marlowe. However, despite that each story on its own, featured in its time as a magazine publication, may have been a success, the compilation is less successful. With the notable exception of "Pearls are a Nuisance", an obvious parody of the characters of Christie's time, and "I'll be Waiting", a moody piece which is also substantially the shortest in the collection, the stories here tend to blend together.

None of the works is really a classic mystery in the sense the reader could intuit the outcome. Instead, the stories focus on the dark, tough-guy sphere of the Los Angeles underworld. Virtually everyone over the age of 18 smokes, drinks, and carries a gun, and there's nobody under 18.Eventually a reader gets the view poking a loaded gun into someone's chest was the canonical salutatory gesture of the early 1930's, only later replaced by the handshake.And it's slightly disturbing how the racism of the time is embedded into virtually all of the stories here.

The strength of the works is Chandler's descriptive prose, which quickly captures the dark mood he's obviously after.In particular, he opens his stories strongly, sucking the reader in with the first paragraph.So if you forget about the weaknesses in plot, allowing yourself to instead be captured in the moment of the writing, this book will be more enjoyable.

To be fair to Chandler, these stories weren't intended to be thus bundled.So for the opening essay, and for the historical niche the stores fill, I give this one 4 stars. However, I certainly owe Chandler the respect of reading one of his full-length novels before passing judgement on his merits.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition has table of contents
There is a linked table of contents in the Kindle edition. For some reason you can't get to it in the usual Kindle way, but it's close enough to the front of the book that you can't miss it (though right after you download the ebook you're on a page just BEYOND the table of contents).

There are also blank "pages" after each item, which is confusing.

Other than that, this is a good edition, and seems typo free. Chandler's estate is getting money; God's in his heaven; all's right with the world.

Once in a while you do wish Amazon was a little less slapdash, and looked over ebook publishers' shoulders a little bit more. So far the Tom Corbett series, complete with illustrations, is the most lovingly presented ebook I've seen, better than this Chandler and far better than the Oxford Complete Shakespeare.

Also the business of mixing the Kindle reviews with other reviews is confusing.

This collection of short stories leads off with one essay, Chandler's most famous, "The Simple Art of Murder." That's the one where he badmouths all traditional Golden Age detective stories, and dissects A. A. Milne's THE RED HOUSE MYSTERY in about three closely reasoned pages. He also has a famous passage on the merits of Dashiell Hammett, which ends with Chandler's famous "Down these mean streets" paragraph on the ideal detective hero.

Them as wants to can download THE RED HOUSE MYSTERY from Kindle for free and see how right or wrong Chandler is.

None of Chandler's detective short stories except for the very late "The Pencil," featured Philip Marlowe, the hero of all Chandler's books. Chandler effectively stopped writing short stories (again, except for "The Pencil") after his first novel, THE BIG SLEEP, in 1939. Some of his later short stories resembled the novels to come, and their heroes were sometimes renamed Philip Marlowe in later reprintings, for example in THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY's version of "Red Wind."

The stories in THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER, though, are earlier stories, and some of their detectives have characters that would not let them be easily renamed after Marlowe. For example the hero of "Spanish Blood," the first story in this collection, is Hispanic, and that is important to the plot.

Chandler looked on his short stories as apprentice work, but some of these early stories have a kind of power that, though cruder, is also different from the power that appears in the novels. Their detectives are less wittily aloof from the crimes they get involved in, and their lives seem a little dirtier in general. Considering what Marlowe himself goes through, that says quite a bit.

Contents of Kindle edition: the essay discussed above, plus eight short stories: Spanish Blood, I'll Be Waiting, The King in Yellow, Pearls Are a Nuisance, Pickup on Noon Street, Smart-Aleck Kill, Guns at Cyrano's, and Nevada Gas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
The Simple Art of Murder, is simply Chandler at his most cynical best, and is a reference to a collection of short stories written by the hard-boiled detective fiction author. If you really want to understand the true meaning of crime books, then this is the book for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Clarification
Various editions of THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER (and short story/novella collections spun off from it) have resulted in some confusion as to the included short titles. I believe the original collection included twelve stories plus the famous title essay). However, the 1953 Pocket Book edition titled THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER includes "Pearls Are a Nuisance,"Spanish Blood," "The King in Yellow," and "I'll Be Waiting" plus "The Simple Art of Murder" essay."Prior to that volume, _Trouble Is My Business: Four Stories from THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER_ (1951 Pocket Book edition) includes four stories: the title novelette, "Finger Man," "Goldfish," and "Red Wind." And _Pick-Up on Noon Street: Four Stories from THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER_ (1952 Pocket Book Edition) includes four stories: the title story, "Smart-Aleck Kill," "Guns at Cyrano's," and "Nevada Gas."I have yet to find an early edition with all of the above stories and original or early sleeve/cover art so this 1988 Vintage edition will have to suffice.
L.B. Garcia ... Read more

8. Raymond Chandler: Collected Stories (Everyman's Library)
by Raymond Chandler
Hardcover: 1336 Pages (2002-10-15)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375415009
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The only complete edition of stories by the undisputed master of detective literature, collected here for the first time in one volume, including some stories that have been unavailable for decades.

When Raymond Chandler turned to writing at the age of forty-five, he began by publishing stories in pulp magazines such as Black Mask before later writing his famous novels. These stories are where Chandler honed his art and developed his uniquely vivid underworld, peopled with good cops and bad cops, informers and extortionists, lethally predatory blondes and redheads, and crime, sex, gambling, and alcohol in abundance. In addition to his classic hard-boiled stories—in which his signature atmosphere of depravity and violence swirls around the cool, intuitive loners whose type culminated in the famous detective Philip Marlowe—Chandler also turned his hand to fantasy and even a gothic romance. This rich treasury of 25 stories shows Chandler developing the terse, laconic, understated style that would serve him so well in his later masterpieces, and immerses the reader in the richly realized fictional universe that has become an enduring part of our literary landscape. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Will mess with your mind
Right off the bat, let me make clear that this is a beautifully bound and printed collection, that it's a bargain at Amazon's discounted price, and that these stories do exhibit Chandler's famously skillful writing style.In a couple of the stories in this collection, Chandler seems to be trying to write a Twilight Zone script, and in another he seems to be imitating P.G. Wodehouse, but in all of the rest he's true to form.

There is an important sense, however, in which this collection will be a mixed blessing to you if you've read and appreciated Chandler's novels.In a remarkable number of instances, the stories mix-and-match the plot lines from the novels.To be chronologically-correct, I should say that it's the other way around, I guess.In any case, it is disorienting to read Episodes X, Y, and Z from Novels A, B, and C all occurring in the same story.It's like having Nicholas Nickleby and David Copperfield team up to get Oliver Twist out of a jam.If you like to remember the things you read, you should be aware that the stories are likely to confuse your memories of the novels.

What's remarkable about Chandler is how even the same episode transplanted into a different story comes across interesting and fresh the second time around.

4-0 out of 5 stars Works in Progress
I have reviewed Raymond Chandler's seven full Phillip Marlowe epics elsewhere in this space. For those who doubt that a mere plebian detective in a once seedy genre can hold your attention and win your admiration as very, very good literature then try these short pieces to work up the 'big' boys. You will not be disappointed. Moreover, you will get a fair peek at what makes Marlowe tick in his previous guises-his sense of honor, his doggedness in the face of adversity and his tilting after windmills when he gets his teeth in a case. And it does not hurt if there is a good-looking 'dame' in the bargain.


Apparently there are many, many editions of this work listed under the Trouble is My Business label. I have reviewed the one that has Chandler's introduction about his take on the place of the detective novel in American literature circa 1950. Since then I have found a copy under the same title that has 12 stories in it many of which are different from the above. If you can find it- Vintage Paperback-1988- you will be justly rewarded because what you will get are snatches of stories with various charcters, locales, named detectives and different ending that will later go on to become The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely and Lady in the Lake. Get it if you can, if for no other reason than to see how the master noir detective writer moved the work forward. Amazing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of short stories and an excellent bargain
I'm a big fan of Raymond Chandler, and I'm also a big fan of Everyman's library.

I purchased this book after completing all of Chandler's novels.As usual with Everyman's Library, this is a very high quality hardcover edition with a cloth cover and high quality paper at a bargain price.Also, I believe this is the most complete set of Chandler's short stories you can currently buy (if I recall correctly, the Library of America collection, which is also quite a good buy, leaves out several stories).

One word of caution - if you plan to read both, I'd recommend reading Chandler's novels before the short stories, as he cannabalized a good amount of his earlier short stories when constructing some of his novels, so you'll end up reading some of the material twice.That said, for the most part, these stories are every bit as satisfying as his full length novels and I'd highly recommend this edition for any fan of Chandler's writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great look at the development of an unforgettable character
Yes, there are a lot of great stories in this book, but for me the real interest is seeing Chandler develop the traits and try out the plotlines that will be fully fleshed out with the definitive Philip Marlowe. I was introduced to Chandler by a good friend (thanks, Darlene) about 25 years ago, and I still read his novels at least once a year. I would read The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and Farewell, My Lovely first to get a sense of who Marlowe is and then backtrack into these stories to find out where Marlowe comes from. Marlowe has been my favorite literary character for a very long time. Down these mean pages, a man must go. An excellent collection and an excellent value.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazon asks me to review a book they still haven't sent me!!!
I'm giving the book five stars anyway, since I've read most of these stories before BUT ESPECIALLY because it is the only ABSOLUTELY COMPLETE COLLECTION of Chandler's short stories, including the ones he cannibalized to write three of the Marlowe novels which the late Chandler did not want to see reprinted, and several other rarely-seen stories including two fantasy ones!


9. Trouble Is My Business
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 224 Pages (1988-08-12)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394757645
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the four long stories in this collection, Marlowe is hired to protect a rich old guy from a gold digger, runs afoul of crooked politicos, gets a line on some stolen jewels with a reward attached, and stumbles across a murder victim who may have been an extortionist. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars a mixed bag of 1930s detective stories...
As other reviews have noted, 'Trouble Is My Business' is the both the name of a short story and the name of a collection of short stories by Raymond Chandler.It seems the short story collection contain differing number of stories depending on the publisher.My 1960s UK version of 'Trouble Is My Business' contains five stories including, of course, 'Trouble Is My Business'.Like all Raymond Chandler fiction, it has delicious tough guy dialogue and all sorts of nasty business going on.Sometimes the plot, even in his short stories, can be a bit muddled.But I read Raymond Chandler fiction purely for the atmosphere they project ... and not so much for the plot.Others might not find this sort of read enjoyable.

Bottom line: classic Chandler in small bites.Some taste good, others not so.

5-0 out of 5 stars Trouble Is My Business is a collection of a quartet of stories by Raymond Chandler the inimitable master of hardboiled fiction R
Los Angeles has its muse. His name is Raymond Chandler (1888-1959)Chicago born who was raised in Great Britain. Chandler had trouble with booze and broods but he could write like an angel about the City of Angels. Vintage has published "Trouble My Business" containing four of Chandler's stories about Private Investigator Phillip Marlowe and the seedy and salacious, corrupt and cruel world he inhabited in the lost Los Angeles of the 1930s and 1940s.
The stories are:
Trouble is My Business: Marlowe is hired by Mr. Jeeter to prevent a scandal concerning his ne'er do well son and the seductive the deliciously named Harriet Huntress. Bodies litter the scene and the plot is convoluted.
Finger Man deals with scandals and political shenanigans. A complicated plot laced with murder, sassy dialogue and a difficult case for Marlowe to solve.
Goldfish- Anex-con who stole the Sol Leander diamonds worth 200,000 is tracked down by Marlowe. Wally Sipe has retired to Washington State where he enjoys tending his goldfish. Will the diamonds be recovered? Will Marlowe live to tell the tale?
Red Wind-In hot LA an adulterous woman is in deep trouble. She has to do business with a crook named Joseph Coates who has the jewelry she was given by her lover. Yet he turns up dead in a bar in a murder witnessed by Marlowe. The lady is named Lola and she is an intriguing lady. A cruel cop named Copernik enjoys roughing up Marlowe.
All of these short stories are written in the Chandler style of tough talk, good scenic description and plot twists. Blackmail plots abound. Chandler is always worthy of a reader's time andmoney for the purchase of the book. He was better at scene setting, sharp and metaphoric dialogue and character description than he was in making the plot clear to the sometimes bemused reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Noir Novel
I love Chandler. The hard-boiled PI maybe isn't his invention and it is hard pressed to figure anyone else out that can do it better. Maybe a bit of Dashiel Hammett, Complete Novels, whose Red Harvest puts the violent films of today to miserable shame. Trouble is a collection of shorts featuring the beloved Philip Marlowe, who always seems to find himself tangled in a mess that is a mile deeper than it ever started out. The language is sparse and drove American literature a bit to the edge it became in later novels. Partly because of Chandler being a Brit and not really knowing the American dialect, he sort of made it up.

The best part of are the continuously flawed characters Chandler creates. Hollywood actors, Las Vegas gamblers, tycoons and misfits of all types swirl together in mayhem that is understated and portrays what America felt about Los Angeles and its participants of the 30's and 40's. It is timeless though. Many situations could very well happen in the Hollywood Hills of 2007. And you end up liking them all somehow. He is sympathetic but still manages to give every one a dose of the medicine they deserve. Marlowe is the morals the story and also the amoral example, in it for himself at many times.

I I had to picked this one up after Christina made funny of me for picking up the The Long Goodbye for the twentieth time.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Alfred Hitchcock.of hard boiling
Like a classic old movie that you love in spite (or because of?) its in old black and white, the obvious back-lot sets, and no super-realistic surround sound, this collection of stories shows its age but wears it well.

If Dashiell Hammett is the D. W. Griffith of hard-boiled detective stories, Chandler is the Alfred Hitchcock.

3-0 out of 5 stars (Kindle) Great book; bad edition
(Kindle version review) One of my favorite writers and collections, but this is a very poor format ebook. The OCR-related typos are very annoying - they aren't uniform, it's as though several pages, scattered through the book, weren't edited or checked at all. ... Read more

10. Farewell, My Lovely
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 292 Pages (1988-07-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394758277
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars good stuff
It's nice to read a mystery novel without all the blood and violence that are part of today's fiction. The writer's ability to create the suspense and keep the reader interested is what makes good novels. This is GOOD!

5-0 out of 5 stars What great writing is all about
This is the best book I have read in ages. I don't read everything start to finish. I like to be taken in, and to finish a book, I usually feel compelled to do so. This book had me eagerly flipping page after page. I couldn't wait to find out what would unfold next. It was the highlight of most of my recent days. Chandler's failed career as a romantic poet shows admirably in this prose. It's really beautiful, to the point, and not pretentious at all. It was fun. The pace was quick, and you are trying to put the pieces together with Marlowe as he brings you along. I don't usually read mysteries. With Chandler, I at least plan to read all of his. This is better than the best noir films. If you dig noir films and literature, read this book. (It's also clear why so many people idolize Marlowe from this one, a man's man if there ever was one...

4-0 out of 5 stars Zingers Galore
For me the main pleasure of reading this novel derives from wisecracks zinging on almost every page.Here are a couple, plucked randomly:

The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on.
A bogus heartiness, as weak as a Chinaman's tea, moved into her face and voice.

And here is another one, a shot at Hemingway, as Marlowe explains a corrupt cop why he keeps calling him by that name: "A guy that keeps saying the same thing over and over until you begin to believe it must be good."

Hemingway may not be a great writer -- I'm not a big fan -- but he was a far better one than Chandler.That little charming fish story of his alone has (rightfully) much greater literary acclaim than all of Chandler's works put together.

Still, Raymond Chandler is a pleasure to read.He has a tremendous gift for storytelling.The wisecracks, the colorful characters, and the snappy dialogue make reading this novel, as well his other ones a pleasant experience, especially on lazy, boozy weekend afternoons.Nothing wrong with that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Addictive...
I read mostly at night in bed and I'm tired because I could not put this book down.I kept looking ahead for convenient places to stop, but blew right by them instead.The combination of Chandler's pace and piquancy is simply irresistible.

Farewell, My Lovely isn't the most believable of books, but just like The Big Sleep, it doesn't matter.Indeed, there's a tongue-in-cheek charm that peeks out quite often from behind the hardened facade.Chandler excelled at caricature.He danced on the edge of parody.But, he did it so exquisitely well that he detracted not a whit from the earnestness of the story.

A paroled con comes back to LA in search of the woman he loves.Philip Marlowe, our protagonist, stumbles into the plot thus derived.Conspiracy and murder follow among the landmarks of the Los Angeles area.There's a magnetic pull to 40's-era LA and Chandler takes full advantage of it.Farewell, My Lovely is quintessential, it is provocative, and, in places, shamefully vulgar.And, still, I recommend it highly, because it is worth every bit of 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most brilliant narrative voices in the annals of literature
With the exception of Charles Dickens, has any writer has more influence on narration than Raymond Chandler?Dozens and dozens of writers -- not always crime writers -- have tried to sound like Philip Marlowe.Dozens of movies have featured Philip Marlowe-like narrators, including the theatrical release of BLADE RUNNER, where Rick Deckard sound nothing so much as a 21st Century updating.And perhaps there have been even more parodies.Either way, we all know what detective narrators are supposed to sound like, and we know this because of Raymond Chandler.

Raymond Chandler did not invent hardboiled detective fiction.He essentially took Dashiell Hammett's invention and focused nearly all his attention on prose style, character, and detail.There is an almost tactile quality to many of his stories, to the extent where you feel you could almost reach out and wipe the dust off a desk with your finger.There is, also, an almost wanton disregard of plot.If you read Raymond Chandler for plot, you are misreading him.I'll admit that in several of his novels I'm still unclear what happened.But who cares?The brilliance is in the texture, the detail.Take smell.Read virtually any other detective, crime, mystery, or hardboiled novel and look at how often other writers mention smells and then look at Chandler.He is constantly telling you what places smell like, whether mesquite or sage or sandalwood or whatever.Chandler wrote with heightened senses.I frankly can't get around to caring that his plots aren't very tight because other things absorb all my attention.

FAREWELL, MY LOVELY is one of my favorite Chandler novels, perhaps only behind THE BIG SLEEP and his flawed masterpiece THE LONG GOODBYE.It featured many of his most memorable characters, especially the doomed Moose Malloy, and many of his most unforgettable scenes.Because of Chandler's ability to sketch a scene in such astonishing detail, there are scenes in his books that are as easy to visualize as it is a scene in a movie.He is that vivid and precise in his depiction.A great example is Marlowe's visit to Mrs. Florian in his search for Velma.It would be a person of very poor imagination who didn't get a strong sense of what her house looked like, smelled like, felt like.

This is also one of his best books because it is one of the most tragic.The end of the novel feels almost like the end of Hamlet, with nearly all of the major characters either dead or at least shattered.And like with most of Chandler, there isn't an overly nice resolution of the mystery, whereby the detective magically makes everything nice and tidy and correct.Marlowe gets to the bottom of things, but often what he finds when he gets there is an abyss.And speaking of Chandler's influence, can one imagine the end of Raymond Polanski's CHINATOWN without Marlowe?

As a side note, there have been two very good film versions of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY.The first was made by RKO while Chandler was still alive and was originally released with that title.It tanked at the box office, mainly because it starred former Warner Brothers boy crooner Dick Powell.His style of musical had gone out of style and no one wanted to see what they assumed was a musical.So RKO renamed it MURDER, MY SWEET, which obviously could not be a musical, and re-released it.It was a box office success and was crucial in launching the second half of Dick Powell's career, this time as a serious dramatic actor.Chandler himself was horrified at the casting of Powell as Marlowe, but later proclaimed that he thought Powell was outstanding in the role.By the way, the person that Chandler himself thought would have made the ideal Marlowe was Cary Grant.The second version of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY was released in 1975 with Robert Mitchum as Marlowe.With apologies to Humphrey Bogart, Mitchum is my favorite Marlowe.He was a tad too old for the role, but apart from that he absolutely nailed the cynicism and latent nobility of Marlowe.My only regret is that Mitchum didn't begin making a string of Marlowe films when he was 35.As it was he was too old in his second appearance as Marlowe in a bizarre version of THE BIG SLEEP set, of all places, in London. ... Read more

11. The High Window
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 272 Pages (1988-07-12)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$4.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394758269
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold coin worth a small fortune—the elements don't quite add up until Marlowe discovers evidence of murder, rape, blackmail, and the worst kind of human exploitation.

"Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude."-- Erle Stanley Gardner

"Raymond Chandler has given us a detective who is hard-boiled enough to be convincing . . . and that is no mean achievement." -- The New York Times ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars The High Window is aPhillip Marlowe novel featuring the adventures of the shop soiled Galahad of Los Angeles
The High Window was published in 1942. It's author Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) is a poetic master of hardboiled noir crime fiction. His metaphoric and colorful language; fascinating characters and sparkling prose make Chandler an American original. His works leap the high wall between mystery fiction and true literary art.
The High Window opens at a house in the Oak Noll Section of Pasadena. An obese, obtuse and cruel double widow with the name of Elizabeth Bright Murdock has called Marlowe to her home. The grotesque woman wants Marlowe to locate a rare coin known as the "Brasher Doubloon" which belonged to her late husband. The doubloon has been stolen. Murdock wants Marlowe to locate her former showbiz girl daughter-in-law Linda Conquest whom she suspects is guilty of the heist. Linda has been recently divorced from Lester Murdock the weak little Uriah Heepish cipher who is Mrs. Murdock's son. Marlowe also meets the intriguing Miss Merle Davis who is the virginal secretary of Mrs. Murdock. What lurks beneath the surface? Who stole the coin? What dirty secrets are being hid from the eyes of the police? Answers await as we join Marlowe on a dive into the inferno of sin which lies at the belly of the beast of Los Angeles.
This is the opening scene in a novel filled with all the twists and turns we expect in a Chandler novel. Along the way there are three murders as wheel spins within wheel in the shady, cruel, cynical and convoluted morality of the characters inhabiting the Chandlerian universe.
We remember Chandler for his skill in realistic dialogue and word paintings of Los Angeles and its 1940s environs. The plots are hard to follow and forgettable. Pick up a Chandler novel for pure reading pleasure as your eyes scan the lines penned by a master of American fiction!

5-0 out of 5 stars Still the best
Even with all the years long gone, Chandler is still the best. The High Window may not be high profile, but it's still top of the game. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Skips a beat, but worth your while...
Having read The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely, I dove eagerly into the next Raymond Chandler novel in queue.The High Window offers the standard Chandler fare of murder, blackmail and general malefaction, though its characters don't form quite as well.Philip Marlowe, the archetypical 40's investigator, is reliably entertaining, but Merle Davis, the flighty personal assistant of Marlowe's client, is so neurotic she defies description.Ultimately, she also defies the plot.

It's important to point out that I appraise in relative terms.The author's previous novels were so entertaining that even the slightest Chandler misstep would resound.But, Merle Davis is a difficult proposition to get past and she eventually becomes the heart of the story.

Still, it's an engrossing story and, while it might not hit the heights of previous efforts, it is classic Raymond Chandler: 40's-era LA, mystery and menace, and a cunning private eye. Because of this, it deserves to be read.4 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Chandler novel--because it's so different
I found this to be first-rate Phil Marlowe, probably my favorite after Big Sleep, mainly because it does not deliver what we've come to expect from the genre. Some other resemblances between The Big Sleep to make this point: this book also features an unhealthy, rich client and an unstable young woman, and Marlowe's looking for a missing household member. Here it's an unpleasant widow who incessantly drinks port that hires Phil to find her wimpy son's wife, whom she suspects of stealing a rare gold doubloon from her husband's collection. No sooner is Marlowe on the case than the coin is returned, but by this time two dead bodies have turned up, along with another doubloon. The entire case lasts two days, but Marlowe earns his pay.

But while some elements of the setting and characters seem to purposefully recall The Big SLeep, Chandler makes it clear he's writing a different kind of story. He avoids the clichés here, even though at this time they probably weren't clichés. For instance, although the missing wife is a good-looking nightclub singer, she barely figures in the case and is only in one scene; so much for our expectation, borne of Classic Hollywood, that the smoldering dame will be at the bottom of it all. Additionally, Marlowe is (for a noir tough guy) surprisingly compassionate and sympathetic at the end of the novel, refreshingly affected by what's happened, at odds with the image of the tortured private eye reporting truth in spite of who gets hurt.

In all, a very clever and atmospheric mystery without the wildness of Farewell or the weariness Lady in the Lake. I understand some readers' beef with it, but I found the whole thing delightfully surprising without being (conventionally) suspenseful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Superior fiction even if one of Chandler's lesser efforts
To be honest, it seems kind of silly giving this book only four stars.If you compare it to the vast majority of hardboiled or detective novels ever written, it would deserve five stars.It is only when it is compared to Chandler's other books that it falls short.This was his third novel, published after THE BIG SLEEP (which started the vogue for starting books and movies with the words "The Big") and FAREWELL, MY LOVELY.In none of those books is plot and story as important as Chandler's exquisite prose, his wonderfully detailed descriptions, or his magnificently decadent characters.But even so the plots of those two look brilliant compared to this one.

The number of problems with the plot of THE HIGH WINDOW is legion, but I'll highlight only two.Chandler wants Philip Marlowe to discover a body.There are a million ways to do this, but instead of something elegant and simple, Chandler creates incredibly unlikely scenarios whereby the future corpse gives Chandler a key to his apartment so that he won't be forced to wait around if he somehow doesn't happen to be there.This is such a cheap device that it is almost as if Chandler were trying to parody storytelling.Perhaps even sillier is a bizarre gun swap, in which the killer goes into a nearby apartment, finds a gun under the pillow of the tenant, and switches it with his own.Much of the subsequent story hinges on the strange gun swap.

So, as an example of plot, THE HIGH WINDOW is a failure.Nonetheless, there is still the prose.Although Chandler is unquestionably one of the most imitated writers in literary history, no one has quite been able to match his power with words.Marlow enters a club."A check girl in peach-bloom Chinese pajamas came over to take my hat and disapprove of my clothes.She had eyes like strange sins."He prepares to question someone."From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class.From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away."He describes the residents of Bunker Hill:"Out of the apartment houses come women who should be young but have faces like stale beer; men with pulled-down hats and quick eyes that look the street over behind the cupped hand that shields the match flame . . . people who look like nothing in particular and know it."

And there are the characters.Though the best characters in THE HIGH WINDOW are not as memorable as the many, many memorable characters in THE BIG SLEEP or FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, there are still several so striking as to not easily slip out of mind.

But substandard Chandler or not, he is one of those writers so brilliant and original that he deserves to be read in toto.One should read not this or that novel, but all of it, short stories included.He is one of the few writers to have played a major role in shaping our culture as a whole.But besides that, his books -- even the lesser ones -- are just a great, great read. ... Read more

12. The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 128 Pages (2007-03-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$1.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061227447
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

During a period of twenty years that stretched from his beginnings as a pulp writer for The Black Mask, through his writing of the novels The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely, to the Hollywood years of the 1940s, Raymond Chandler kept a series of private notebooks. Filled with both public and private writings, these pages give us an intimate view of the writer at work and contain early ideas, descriptions, and anecdotes later used in such classics as The Long Goodbye and The Blue Dahlia. Read Chandler on such classic "Marlowesque" topics as pickpocket lingo, San Quentin jailhouse slang, a "Note on the Tommygun," and "Craps," as well as surprising, lesser–known essays on Hollywood, the mystery story, British and American writing, and a wicked parody of Hemingway. Also included are lists of possible story titles, "Chandlerisms," and his short story "English Summer: A Gothic Romance," which Chandler considered a turning point in his career.

At times whimsical, provocative, and irreverent, but always revealing, The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler is a fascinating sampler for his new readers and an irresistible treat for his dedicated fans.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Small but Valuable Resource for any Budding Writer.
Raymond Chandler's character, the witty, tough and romantic "private detective", Philip Marlowe, next to Dashiell Hammett's, Sam Spade, is more than likely, the most famous "gum shoe" investigator of the twentieth century, only rivalling, the nineteenth century private detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Chandler is known for his sharp prose and witty dialogue leading to a somewhat successful career as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He co-wrote with director Billy Wilder the award winning "Double Indemnity", adapted from the novel by James M. Cain. He also worked with Alfred Hitchcock on the screenplay adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, "Stranger on a Train". I've read just about all of Chandler's work, thus coming across this little gem was a real pleasure.

Even if you haven't heard of Chandler or read any of his work, the Notebook, just standing alone, is a lesson for any budding "mystery writer." Contained in these pages is a quick procedure on the points to writing a full-length novel. The Notebook also includes facsimiles of Chandler's Ideas about short stories and potential plots for novels, screenplays or novellas.

The Notebook also has historical tid bits such as a list of similes and slang used in the 30's and 40's, which the author used in his work. This is an excellent resource for any budding mystery writer or writer overall.

This book is highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Very amazing book. Especially seeing things written in his own hand writing. Very great book. Thank you.

2-0 out of 5 stars Some Thing to be Desired
To me the notebooks of Henry James defines what I expect from a writer's journal, diary, or notebook. A intimate record of the creative process. Little of this is included in the Raymond Chandler notebook. Much of is reprints of other writer's views. Mr. Chandler's essay on the characteristics of a mystery although interesting is itself a reprint. There is some original content which indicates somewhat the artistic labor involved in his work but I find the amount a nibble instead of a feast.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mean Streets
Poor Frank MacShane, the biographer and editor who died in 1999 after a lengthy bout with Alzsheimers Disease.He did so much for Chandler's reputation, and really worked hard on his behalf, and now, in Harper Perennial's disastrous reprinting of MacShane's edition of Chandler's notebooks, he has been very nearly erased out of existence.He's not on the spine of the book.He's not on the front cover; not even on the back cover.They have his name on the title page, but it comes after Edward Gorey's, and he gets a tiny credit on the copyright entry.It's as if Harper Perennial wants us to believe these notebooks just got up off the shelf, edited themselves, and slipped into the display window a quality paperback pretends to be.

Then Harper Perennial prints the whole volume on--is it recycled paper?There's no other excuse, it's like your very worst nightmare of ugly, yellowed, tarnished cheap newsprint.What a disaster, especially when they're printing a selection of photographs which are now nearly totally unviewable, while Gorey's illustrations to ENGLISH SUMMER seem to dissolve into the rag fiber as you're examining them.This is the kind of visual presentation you'd expect to see a publisher give a book by Pauly Shore, but it's Raymond Chandler for goodness sake!

Okay, so he's not at his best here and his notebooks are far less interesting than one would think, but he deserves better treatment than what he's getting here, and as for MacShane it's a travesty of his work. ... Read more

13. Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Paperback: 240 Pages (1989-03-02)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$7.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879513519
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Reissued for the 50th anniversary of the film of Chandler's novel, The Big Sleep, this evocative and elegant book juxtaposes excerpts of Chandler's tough, cynical prose with black-and-white photographs of the city he described as "no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness." 100 photos.Amazon.com Review
Elizabeth Ward and Alain Silver know their way around the Cityof Angels, its buildings and boulevards, its alleyways and environs,as well as Philip Marlowe. So get in your Oldsmobile and put the topdown for this literary tour of a Lala Land that partly no longer existsand sometimes never was--for RaymondChandler's locales, as the authors note, are "a pastiche of thereal and the imagined." Mostly what we have here is the visualequivalent. Silver Lake became the less glamorous Gray Lake in thenovelist's cynical prose; the fabled Bradbury Building (seen in the1969 film Marlowe) became the Belfont. City hall is for real,of course, but nothing is quite what it seems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant exploration of Philip Marlowe's world
I recently have been engaged in a rereading of the fiction of Raymond Chandler and I decided to read in addition a few books to enhance my enjoyment, including a biography and other works about Chandler.Because Philip Marlowe's world is evoked in such great specificity, I thought it would be nice to look at this photographic exploration of Marlowe's Los Angeles.I have never been to Los Angeles and while I am, like most Americans, familiar with the many looks of Los Angeles because of the film and television industry, I don't have a very precise understanding of how the city is laid out.I know that today East Los Angeles is Hispanic and West Hollywood is a gay area, but too many of the area names are simply that.The same holds true for many of the surrounding suburbs.For instance, I have a very imprecise idea of Santa Barbara.I have no idea if it is stylish or downtrodden or even what it looks like.If set down in L.A. I wouldn't have the foggiest idea of what direction to go to get to U.C.L.A. or the Hollywood Bowl (or for that matter Hollywood) or Dodger Stadium or, really, anything.

I should add that the book's title is a bit of a misnomer.Though there is some attention to relate L.A. to Raymond Chandler, what it really tries to do is relate it to Chandler's alter ego Philip Marlowe.The book's excerpts refer to Marlowe's adventures.It is concerned to illuminate where the scenes from the Marlowe stories are set.Its focus, in other words, is literary and not biographical.Locales are selected for their reference to Marlowe and not to Chandler, though there are a couple of exceptions.

This book helps a great deal in many ways in gaining a better understanding of what specific buildings and even areas look like.My lone complaint is that it makes no attempt whatsoever to show how the various bits connect up.In that regard it is poorly arranged.If you are a native of Los Angeles or know it well, perhaps this would not be an issue, but while I get the look of certain buildings, I don't understand the city.I think the value of the book would have been tremendously enhanced if the photos and excerpts had been arranged more sectionally.A map would have helped, perhaps showing approximately where each place that is referred to is located.I have, for instance, loved the use of the Bradbury Building in various noir productions (though thinking of the Bradbury this week is painful because of ABC's absurd cancellation of PUSHING DAISIES, currently the best show on television, which has used the Bradbury for several locations shots, it standing in for the apartment building where Ned and Chuck and Olive all live) from the Golden Age of Noir (if "noir" is not incompatible with such a vivid color) to the noirish BLADE RUNNER.But I still haven't a clue where the Bradbury stands.Again, if Ward and Silver had included a map and coordinated the excerpts with that map, this would have been a far more useful book than it is.

Still, that one rather major complaint aside, this was a fun book.The selections from Chandler were made judiciously and the photos definitely enhance the enjoyment of the novels and stories.For instance, I read this book immediately after rereading THE BIG SLEEP, FAREWELL MY LOVELY, and THE HIGH WINDOW, but before rereading THE LADY IN THE LAKE.Because of the photos of Puma Lake Dam I had a much better visual grasp of the book's ending than I would have otherwise.And looking back at the other novels I had a better idea of what the Sternwood mansion looked like in THE BIG SLEEP.

This is a fun, pleasant book that suffers from the one organizational weakness I mentioned earlier.But if you are a fan of Chandler and like me unfamiliar with L.A. and would like a better grasp of Philip Marlowe's world, I definitely recommend this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than a guidebook,
although it would be hard to classify this book exactly. The crisp, stark and sometimes impressionistic images are well suited to the tone of Chandler's prose. At first glance, it seems to be just a photo book of office buildings and tract homes from the Chandler era. But shots like the eucalyptus leaves melting over a street lamp or the pouty young woman in the swimming pool are striking visual parallels to Chandler writing about "crawling lava" or the "ashes of love." Plus the authors write perceptively about Chandler's relationship to the City of Angels.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was very disappointed with this book. From the description, I expected photographs from the 1930s and 40s, providing a historic view of Los Angeles from the period of many of Chandler?s novels. Instead, the photographs, which are usually dark and sometimes fuzzy, were taken during the 70s and early 80s. In some cases, the table of contents doesn?t even reference the correct page numbers. I wouldn?t recommend this one. You'd be better off renting "The Big Sleep" DVD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book ... a must have for Chandler fans.
I bought this book a few years ago after happening across it on the internet. What a beautiful book. The selections are well-chosen and the photos are unreal. Buy it. You won't regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hardboiled, and hard to put down!
A goldmine for any fan of Chandler's Marlowe novels and short stories, I couldn't put this book down. It finally gave context to the vistas I had only been able to imagine previously, and I'll never be able to pick up any hard boiled detective story set in Los Angeles without flashing on the images painstakingly chosen to be included in this volume by Ward and Silver. An invaluable asset to any Chandler and noir fan. ... Read more

14. The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, Playback (Everyman's Library)
by Raymond Chandler
Hardcover: 1016 Pages (2002-10-15)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$19.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375415025
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Creator of the famous Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler elevated the American hard-boiled detective genre to an art form. Chandler's last four novels, published here in one volume, offer ample opportunity to savor the unique and utterly compelling fictional world that made his works modern classics.

THE LADY IN THE LAKE moves Marlowe out of his usual habitat of city streets and into the mountains outside of Los Angeles in his strange search for a missing woman. THE LITTLE SISTER takes Marlowe to Hollywood, where he tries to find a sweet young thing's missing brother, uncovering on the way a little blackmail, a lot of drugs, and more than enough murder. In THE LONG GOODBYE, a case involving a war-scarred drunk and his nymphomaniac wife has Marlowe constantly on the move: a psychotic gangster's on his trail, he's in trouble with the cops, and more and more corpses keep turning up. PLAYBACK features a well-endowed redhead who leads Marlowe to the California coast to solve a tale of big money and, of course, murder.

Throughout these masterpieces, Marlowe's wry humor and existential sense of his job prove yet again why he has become one of the most recognized and imitated characters in fiction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very readable
The last few years, I've gotten hooked on Perry Mason reruns on TV, despite their often mediocre plots and their apparently mandatory goofy closing scenes.I guess it is the show's "atmosphere" that I like.I was hoping to find something to read that had that same sort of feeling and that was well-written, and I decided to give Raymond Chandler's novels a try.He wrote about crime in early modern L.A., and critics seemed to revere his writing style, so I thought these were good candidates.Also, I was hoping that they were written long enough ago that things were kept on a PG level, something that practically no fiction written nowadays can seem to manage.

I started reading his novels chronographically 3 months ago (in the other Everyman's volume), and I finished the last one (in this volume) last night.These books are definitely page-turners, and it was hard to let a completed novel sink in for a day or two before beginning the next one.Would I recommend them to others?Well, not unreservedly, but I don't feel that the time I spent reading them was wasted.

I'm an Austen/Dickens fan, and (if a cross-genre comparison isn't simply absurd) I can't put the quality of Chandler's writing in their class, but he does have an interesting spare style.There are times that the wise-cracking dialogue does come close to self-parody:In _The Big Sleep_ when Marlowe says that someone was talking like he walked out of a gangster movie, I couldn't see much difference between the way that character talked and the way everyone else in the book did.

For the most part, my hope for some PG reads was satisfied, although there is a clear drift towards more explicitness as one moves from the early books to the late ones.(That's at least part of why I liked the early ones more.)

If Chandler's characters didn't smoke or drink, his books would be about 25% shorter.Are there any children anywhere in the Southland that Marlowe describes?Not that I can remember.The absence of basic human affection was pretty hard for a Dickens fan to take.Marlowe seems to see women as objects to make passes at, to make out with (in the early novels), to bed (in the later ones), and, oh yes, to tolerate as clients.And on the last page of _Playback_ when Chandler does make an attempt to move Marlowe into a lasting relationship, it just rings false.

On Perry Mason, you can get a pretty good idea who's going to get murdered before the murder occurs, because it has to be a somewhat unlikeable character.On a lot of other mystery shows, murder is rarely treated as tragic, more as a fun opportunity to solve a good puzzle.At least in Chandler's novels, even though the victims are often unsavory characters, you get a sense that murder is serious--that, as Eastwood said, when you kill a man you "take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have".

4-0 out of 5 stars deliciously moody
I really enjoyed this collection of novels. And, I think, interestingly, these stories suggest that Chandler was homosexually curious. Note, for instance, how often he talks of a particular man being beautiful, and describes in detail the given man's physical attributes. This awareness only slightly altered my image of Philip Marlowe having a Humphrey Bogart voice and manner. I think a new Philip Marlowe movie that captures this dimension would be fascinating -- the tension between being straight (and macho) and yet having this undercurrent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chandler reigns
I first came across Chandler when I heard the Coen brothers interview and discovered that 'The Big Lebowski' was written in the style of a Chandler novel (name itself being derived from 'The Big Sleep'). This alone interested me enough to buy and read The Big Sleep.

Six novels later, I'm still reading Chandler novels, and still finding each and every one different, interesting and intriguing. The main character Marlowe is a wisecracking detective, wary of women - whom he obviously mistrusts - except for the "bad type of women", for whom he does not particularly care. He is also a complex, intelligent man, often an altruist who goes to some extraordinary lengths for his clients, even when he's not paid.

Novels are usually set in 30's/40's Hollywood and Bay City (which is since called something else), and are especially nostalgic, if you've lived in the surrounding areas.

Chandler's writing is funny and unique - the stories - all told in first person, are written so that the reader is both aware of Marlowe's conscious thoughts, and at the same time, when the ending or some pivotal point in the story arrives - is not. This point is not easy to describe, but it works extremely well - the stories are always amusing, captivating, and suspenseful.

I will easily recommend any Chandler novel for anyone interested in mysteries, as well as to those that enjoy unconventional styles of storytelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A nice way to begin Raymond Chandler addiction
If you don't already have a bookshelf full of Raymond Chandler, Ross McDonald and other excellent mystery writers of those times this is a fine start, three good, solid novels to take up the shelf space of only one.I'd easily give every Raymond Chandler novel he ever penned 5 stars and these are no exception.You won't go wrong reading Chandler mysteries and you won't go wrong with this compact edition of three great books in one. ... Read more

15. Raymond Chandler: Four Complete Novels
by Raymond Chandler
Hardcover: Pages (1991-07-27)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517060124
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Whodunit with a chuckle
Raymond Chandler wrote from another time and place, but his murder mysteries are still fresh with some great humor.Many of his novels were made into films.A wonderful read that is entertaining and challenging.

4-0 out of 5 stars all 4 of these stories are excellent
I have always been a fan of all hard-boiled detective novels, but these 4 by Raymond Chandler are some of the best I have ever read. Phillip Marlowe never does the same thing twice and is always interesting to read about. Myfavorite part of these books is the witty dialouge. Chandler's quotes arefantastic and laugh out loud funny. Although the plots sometimes get a bitoff topic(for example, in Farewell My Lovely, Marlowe starts out lookingfor a dame named Velma and that seems to be the main plot, but then sheisn't mentioned again for over 20 chapters), they are great books thateveryone should read. ... Read more

16. The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved (Vintage)
by Judith Freeman
Paperback: 368 Pages (2008-11-11)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400095174
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Raymond Chandler was among the most original and enduring crime novelists of the twentieth century. Yet much of his pre-writing life, including his unconventional marriage, has remained shrouded in mystery. In this compelling, wholly original book, Judith Freeman sets out to solve the puzzle of who Chandler was and how he became the writer who would create in Philip Marlowe an icon of American culture. Visiting Chandler's many homes and apartments, Freeman uncovers vestiges of the Los Angeles that was Chandler's terrain and inspiration for his imagination. She also uncovers the life of Cissy Pascal, the older, twice-divorced woman Chandler married in 1924. A revelation of a marriage that was a wellspring of need, illusion, and creativity, The Long Embrace provides us with a more complete picture of Raymond Chandler's life and art than any we have had before. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

3-0 out of 5 stars Revealing, if Slightly Biased
For those of you who don't know who Raymond Chandler is, he wrote The Big Sleep, the novel on which the movie of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, is based. Good as the movie is, it was more a vehicle for Bogart and Bacall than for William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthman's screenplay, and so the novel is recommended over the film.

Chandler, along with Dashiell Hammett, creator of Sam Spade, is responsible for creating the genre of the hardboiled detective. Chandler's Philip Marlowe is a complex character--wisecracking and hard drinking; he's also a loner. Contemplative, he enjoys chess (usually playing against himself) and poetry. He smokes cigarettes but lights up an occasional pipe. A tough guy, Marlowe refrains from fisticuffs, besting his rivals through his sharp repartee. He's not the womanizer Mickey Spillane later portrayed in Mike Hammer. In fact, he's never taken in by the femmes fatale Chandler created. Marlowe rarely seduces the women with whom he crosses paths, and he is immune to the predatory advances of women such as Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep.

When I came across The Long Embrace, Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved, a biography written by novelist Judith Freeman, I was intrigued. Chandler passed away when I was but two years old, and I knew little of him other than he created Philip Marlowe and was himself a hard drinker.

Painstakingly researched, Freeman pulls few punches as she reveals many of Chandler's weaknesses--notably the bottle, as well as women.

Don't be taken in by the subtitle of the book. And the Woman He Loved would seem the subtitle of a storybook romance. Chandler was 35 when he married Cissy Pascal, who was 53, despite listing her age as 43 on their marriage certificate. The marriage was unconventional to say the least, and others have put forth, as Freeman does, that Chandler never knew that Cissy was fully 18 years his senior.

As Cissy aged and battled respiratory disease, Chandler dutifully took care of her, as he did his mother in her last years. His father abandoned Chandler and his mother when Chandler was a boy. A telling point in the biography is that Chandler would not wed Cissy until after his mother had passed away.

That Chandler loved Cissy is never in question, as evidenced by the poems he wrote to her throughout their marriage. When he worked from home, he was the doting husband; yet there were times when he was flagrantly unfaithful to her. Like Pon Farr, the Vulcan blood fever, Chandler often binged on women while he was drinking, usually when working in Hollywood on a screenplay, when he was surrounded by young assistants.

The more he binged on women the more he drank, as if to hide his shame. Whether that shame was the result of his infidelity or over a wife old enough to be his mother (and the anger he might've felt over Cissy's deliberate deception) is never fully explored. Did he marry Cissy as a sort of surrogate mother (she took care of him as a mother would a son) and compartmentalize younger women for their body parts? A question, even if it were put forth, we can never answer.

Freeman endeavors to visit each of the more than 30 homes in which the Chandler's lived in and around Los Angeles; sadly, many no longer exist. Or as Freeman, in her best imitation of Chandler, writes of L.A.: "If there was such a thing as Chandlerland this was it, and each day I felt surrounded by a kind of shabbier version of that era, a strangely eviscerated ghost of the world I was trying to imagine. When you constantly change a landscape, you erase the collective memory of a city. How can you live without memory?"

Letters, poems, and excerpts of Chandler's novels lend Freeman's text credibility. Included is a letter he wrote to a publisher that revealed his frustrations as a writer: "The thing that rather gets me down is that when I write something that is tough and fast and full of mayhem and murder, I get panned for being tough and fast and full of mayhem and murder, and then when I try to tone down a bit and develop the mental and emotional side of a situation, I get panned for leaving out what I was panned for putting in the first time."

At times, however, Freeman veers dangerously close to hero worship, once describing her feelings while standing in a room in which he'd written one of his novels. I'd feel equally awed standing in the house in which Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness, but does it belong in a biography? It does if the biographer wishes to lend to the text the feel of a journal, which is what Freeman endeavors in The Long Embrace. At times it works; while other times it detracts.

For example, why should Chandler's decision to destroy the letters he exchanged with Cissy while she was married to another man (to whom she also lied about her age) and he was in the Canadian armed forces be questioned? With no family to whom to leave them, one need not possess Marlowe's sagacity to deduce that Chandler would wish to keep their private exchanges from the prying eyes of a biographer and readers alike. Despite our curiosity, it was Chandler's choice, and his right, to destroy the letters.

An interesting read, if slightly subjective, about a fascinating writer considered by some as one the greatest stylists of the 20th century, although some may be put off by Freeman's conjectures interspersed throughout. Sometimes we want the facts, ma'am, just the facts. Does the reader really care which woman in a photograph is Freeman's best guess as the one with whom Chandler had an office affair? I may read supermarket tabloid headlines while standing in line, but I never give credence to their authenticity.

Still, it's intriguing to consider that Marlowe may have been Chandler's alter ego--his personal letters to publishers, agents and friends alike might well have been written by Marlowe, the man Chandler wished he could be himself: honorable, wise, faithful. The knight in tarnished armor.

The Long Embrace was better than I'd hoped, even if I found it lacking in some places; but I suspect the subject was what made it better.

1-0 out of 5 stars Meandering.....but dull
As a long-time fan of Raymond Chandler's, I looked forward to reading this book. However, the author meandered rather than analyzed, substituting visits to empty train stations or the outside of houses that the Chandlers lived in for any close-up analysis of her subjects. [I happen to be more interested in people than architecture; perhaps others with more passion for architecture or addresses will find this of interest.]Part of this is Chandler's fault; by burning all the letters his wife had written he blocked attempts by later writers to learn more about her.However, part of the book's dullness must be laid at the author's door since I never felt that she brought her main characters to life - whether by using letters of others or her own insights.Overall, the book is a failure of intent, writing and character.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chandler's wanderings, and marriage...very good
I'd never heard of Judith Freeman before. I've read most of Chandler's stuff (his Library of America volumes are on my shelf, read and reread) and I enjoy him endlessly. I know a few things about him (that he was really pretty much British, for instance, and that his wife was older than he) but I didn't know how much he and his wife moved around L.A. This latter fact, and his marriage to Cissy Pascal, are the center of this book, an odd work that is strangely fascinating, even though it can't tell us everything we want to know.

Chandler met Cissy just after he first came to Southern California, when she was still married to Pascal, her previous husband. He basically wooed her away from her current husband, apparently insisting afterwords that he'd rescued her from a loveless marriage, and they spent the rest of her life together, thirty-some years, mostly living in a series of rented apartments and homes in Southern California. He did take off a couple of times, chasing women or joining the Canadian army during World War I, but he always returned after a short hiatus. The odd thing is how much they moved. The lived the last 8 years of Cissy's life in a house in La Jolla, but before that they moved, constantly, sometimes twice a year. It's this fact, and the strangeness of Chandler being married to a woman 18 years older than he, who lied about it when they first met, that form the basis for this book.

The author decided, for whatever reason, to travel around Southern California, and visit the houses that Chandler lived in while he was here in Southern California. Many are now gone, some have fallen on hard times, a few are still in good neighborhoods (one's in Brentwood). The odd thing to wonder is whether we can learn anything from any of the homes individually, given that Chandler only lived in each one for a short period of time. I think in many ways the answer has to be no. Apparently both Chandlers were famously picky about where they lived: neighbors were often judged to be too loud, a dog barked, the sun hit the windows too harshly, whatever, and so they felt they had to move again. I think this, rather than the individual houses, tells us the most about the Chandlers, and the author seems to agree, though she dutifully journeys to each and every house. Interestingly, as an aside, the house in La Jolla (the only one they lived in for any length of time) was demolished just as the book was being finished. I'd say it was something of a travesty, given that it had been Chandler's residence, but he personally hated it, so I guess it's not much of a loss.

The moves, and the nature of the marriage, take up the main part of the book. The author doesn't spend a lot of time on things that don't interest her, and she makes it clear in the opening that she's not writing a formal, complete biography, so don't expect one. One of the difficulties of the book is that Chandler himself, after planning to release the letters between he and his wife, changed his mind and destroyed them before he passed away, leaving us with almost nothing of her, so that we're somewhat confused by the marriage and the relationship between the two people. Did he ever realize she'd lied about how old she was? Did he confront her about it? What was her reaction, when he did? We'll apparently never know.

That aside, this is at times a fascinating book. In part it's a portrait of a Los Angeles that's passed into history, one with mansions and servants and supper clubs on Hollywood Boulevard. The author spends a lot of time recreating this world, so that you can see what Raymond Chandler saw of Los Angeles and the world back then. Frankly, in some ways this is the largest strength of the book. I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone interested in Chandler or '40s LA.

5-0 out of 5 stars You need to be a Chandler fan
This is a book especially for Raymond Chandler fans, who not only have read his books, but have read them a second time and enjoyed them even more.

The writer is obviously in love with Chandler and lovingly
describes his life in a fascinating travel of where he
lived, what he did while there, and the most important,
his relationship with his wife and how the relationship
influenced his writings ( and perhaps veiwpoint.)

I also enjoyed the writer's similies and approach.She
was almost an anthropologist in her study; perhaps she

I think it is a fascinating book for those who don't
know Raymond Chandler, but most definitely an important
book for those who are Raymond Chandler fans.

I couldn't put it down, and re-read certain parts, too.

Kit Menkin

5-0 out of 5 stars LOS ANGELES EMBRACED
This book captured me on many levels.
I found in this book, not only a love and reverence for Raymond Chandler, but also for Los Angeles.
I think that the Long Embrace is really the embrace of Los Angeles.
An embrace that impacted Chandler and Freeman and readers.

I am a native of Los Angeles and in the age bracket beyond midlife.I understand the journey and searching for a person's and a city's history.
I enjoyed her almost tangible manipulations of Los Angeles sights, sounds, textures and smells.I recognize her experiences as my experiences lovingly put into words. I recognize many of the streets and areas.

Also, my own memories of a Los Angeles withoil wells pumping,
where we did not have to lock our car or house doors at night!
Of a time when the building of the Music Center downtown showed that we were not a "hick town".

A city where some of the best places are hiddenaway from the traffic and the tourists still to thisday.

Freeman's research intertwines Chandler and Los Angeles.
She brings up questionsandpresents answersabout
the impact on Los Angeles of the automobile, oil, films, police corruption and the unlikely heroes that reveal themselves in the midst of it all. (as Chandler did)

It is interesting to finally learn about Chandler's wife, Cissy.
As to her giving the incorrect age- all the women friends of my mother and grandmother'sdid not give their true age. I remember them telling me " a woman never gives her true age". Children and men were not supposed to ask. I know of women who refused to use Medicare benefitsbecause they did not want to reveal their true age.
It was not unusual(among some circles) for creative women to have real loving relationships with younger men or gay men. (i.e. Neysa Mcmein-artist).

Judith Freemanhas real skill at blending research,fiction and her own interpretations on her lovingly selected subjects. She continues in the same vein in this book.

If you are familiar and enjoy her writing you will love this one.
If you are a Los Angeles native (whether born here or relocated here) you will enjoy learning more about your city.

... Read more

17. The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 672 Pages (2000-02-03)
list price: US$22.70 -- used & new: US$12.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 014118261X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Raymond Chandler created the fast talking, trouble seeking Californian private eye Philip Marlowe for his first great novel "The Big Sleep" in 1939. Marlowe's entanglement with the Sternwood family - and an attendant cast of colorful underworld figures - is the background to a story reflecting all the tarnished glitter of the great American Dream. The detective's iconic image burns just as brightly in "Farewell My Lovely", on the trail of a missing nightclub crooner. And the inimitable Marlowe is able to prove that trouble really is his business in Raymond Chandler's brilliant epitaph, "The Long Goodbye". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Long goodbye to the master
Finishing this set of novels is like losing a friend. The Long Goodbye also was Chandler's goodbye to his readers. Raymond Chandler only wrote six novels, excluding the controversial postscript Playback, and the other three (The High Window, The Lady in the Lake, and The Little Sister) are best read first. Few will dispute that Chandler was a genius. His work oozes atmosphere. It is packed with witty, imperishable dialogue. The characterisation is strong, and what stereotyping it contains only serves to make it more picturesque. For the universe Chandler created, lodged in 1930s and 40s Los Angeles and ranging from sleazy back alleys to beautiful people's mansions, is one from which we only wrench ourselves with regret.

Hinting at these three novels' storylines would be useless. If this is classified as crime fiction, the plots, somewhat implausible (especially of the last two novels), serve as an excuse for painting a world of danger and corruption into which, in the author's own words, `a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid'. That man is Philip Marlowe, the protagonist of all of Chandler's novels, immortalised by Bogart in the movie adaptation of The Big Sleep. One reason Chandler wrote so little is that he came to writing late in life, publishing his first short story at age forty-five. Chandler fought in the First World War and led a tortured life, no doubt influencing his dark, sarcastic style. But with numerous stories and film scripts to his record, he was also, alongside Dashiell Hammett, a leading figure of what soon became known as the `noir' genre. Chandler's views on detective fiction, and on writing in general, are presented in his succinct The Simple Art of Murder, available online and well worth looking up. ... Read more

18. Killer in the Rain
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 584 Pages (1992-11)
list price: US$15.60 -- used & new: US$8.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140109005
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
It was in the pulp detective magazines of the 1930s that Raymond Chandler's definitive take on the hard-boiled detective story first appeared. Here then, from the well-thumbed pages of "Black Mask" and "Dime Detective Magazine", are eight of his finest stories including "The Man Who Liked Dogs", "The Lady in the Lake" and "Bay City Blues". Sharper than a hoodlum's switchblade, more exciting than an unexpected red-head and stronger than a double shot of whisky, they are packed full of the punchy poetry and laconic wit that makes Chandler the undisputed master of his genre. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Short Stories That Grew Into Novels
The `Introduction' by Philip Durham explains why these 8 short stories were suppressed during Raymond Chandler's lifetime: they were "cannibalized" to become part of his novels. Changes were also made to the characters, and passages were expanded with more details. Chandler worked for years as a Hollywood scriptwriter to polish dialogue for films. He had the talent to this. Before becoming a writer Chandler was an oil executive and learned about the wealthy whose lives figure in his stories. The many drinking scenes in these stories raise the question of product placement.

"Killer in the Rain" tells about the spoiled daughter of a newly rich oil millionaire. Carmen has been paying off a "rare book" dealer who has her nude photos. The interpersonal conflict results in dead bodies. Chandler studied the classics. This story could be compared to some opera or a Shakespearean tragedy. ["The Big Sleep" is an expanded version of this story.]
"The Man Who Liked Dogs" has investigator Carmady searching for a missing dog. The young woman who owned him left home and is also missing. There is plenty of action and dead bodies to thrill the readers. ["Farewell, My Lovely" used parts of this story.]
"The Curtain" begins when an old friend tells Carmady what he knows about the missing Dud O'Mara. Soon after this old friend leaves there is a flurry of shots. Now Carmady has the news that killed his pal. He is threatened by the two who killed his pal, but turns the tables. Does the apple fall far from the tree? [This story was part of "The Big Sleep".] The shooting of Larry Batzel seems implausible except for drama.
"Try the Girl" tells of a huge man who was just released from prison and is looking for his old girlfriend. Carmady tries to find Beulah the singer. The ending to this story differs from "Farewell, My Lovely". [If Beulah was so in love why didn't she keep in touch?]

"Mandarin's Jade"has John Dalmas working for a man who will buy back a very expensive jade necklace. But the deal doesn't work as planned, Dalmas is sapped and Lindley Paul is murdered. Dalmas follows a lead, and there is another dead body. Next he meets the woman who lost the necklace, and a view into the lives of the rich and famous. A visit to a cheap bar produces more dead bodies. There is a shocking surprise ending to this story. [Castellamare was where Thelma Todd lived and died.]
"Bay City Blues" starts with the carbon monoxide poisoning of a blonde wife of a doctor to the stars. Harry Matson, the watchman who found the body was run out of town, and he is scared. Matson contacts Johnny Dalmas. There is another dead body and threats to Dalmas. There is a shocking surprise at the end when the murders are solved.
"The Lady in the Lake" begins with a missing person case. The husband mentions the name of a man. Dalmas soon finds him dead, freshly killed. When Dalmas visits the lake cabin where Julia Watson was staying he finds a lady in the lake, a few days old. Dalmas continues his investigation and uncovers the secrets behind the murders, and the missing wife.
"No Crime in the Mountains" starts when John Evans receives a letter hiring him on a confidential matter. But Fred Lacey can tell no tales. More dead bodies turn up. There is a question about $500 in a shoe. Could foreign agents be active in a resort area? [The ending seems pretty weak and implausible.]

4-0 out of 5 stars No mystery here
I'm surprised by the claim of one reviewer that "...Raymond Chandler did not allow this particular group of stories to be republished after their initial appearances in pulp magazines of the thirties."

"Killer in the Rain" has been available off-and-on from Ballantine Books since 1972. My copy, the fifth printing, is dated 1980, and has the same Philip Durham introduction. A search on ABE shows 235 used copies available, including hardcover editions dating back to the 1960s.

That said, the availability of this reprint is great news. Read these stories. Read Chandler's novels. And read the works of the earlier master, Hammett.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eight short stories that Chandler didn't want reprinted!
What the description fails to mention is that Raymond Chandler did not allow this particular group of stories to be republished after their initial appearances in pulp magazines of the thirties.
The reason? These were the eight stories that Chandler cannibalized to form the substance and sub-plots of:
The Black Sleep [taken from "The Curtain" and "Killer In The Rain"],
Farewell My Lovely [using "The Man Who Liked Dogs", "Try The Girl" and "Mandarin's Jade"], and
The Lady In The Lake [assembled with "Bay City Blues", "Lady In The Lake", and "No Crime In The Mountains"],
the first, second and fourth, respectively, of his seven novels featuring the archetypal noir detective Philip Marlowe. (The High Window, The Little Sister and its follow-up The Long Goodbye were all wholly originated as novels, while Playback was rewritten from an unused treatment that did not originally have Marlowe as a character)
Several years after Chandler's death in 1959, Ballantine Books, which in the '60s and '70s had the licensing rights to Chandler's work, went ahead and published these as a group in the book we have here, Killer In The Rain.

Unfortunately, no publisher since has put these eight stories out again - neither Vintage, which publishes all seven novels as well as the contents of the three Ballantine collections of pre-novel short stories (The Simple Art Of Murder, Pick-Up On Noon Street, and Trouble Is My Business); even the two volume collected works published in handsome hardcover form by Library Of America, virtually complete in every other aspect, omits these stories, which leads one to wonder if the Chandler estate - such as it is - has reinstated Chandler's ban on the public having access to these stories - until such time as they truly become public domain.
With the trend towards longer copyright life -designed soley to keep uncreative marketing/publishing people making an easy living off work which, after the creator's death, should belong to the freely accesible world culture domain, instead of putting more effort into marketing the works of the living creators who most deserve the remuneration whilst still alive - many of us may not actually still be here when they can be published by anyone without restriction. So grab a copy of these original masterpieces while there are dealers still with copies!~ MannyLunch

5-0 out of 5 stars Eight short stories tha Chandler didn't want reprinted!
What the description fails to mention is that Raymond Chandler did not allow this particular group of stories to be republished after their initial appearances in pulp magazines of the thirties.
The reason? These were the eight stories that Chandler cannibalized to form the substance and sub-plots of:
The Black Sleep [taken from "The Curtain" and "Killer In The Rain"],
Farewell My Lovely [using "The Man Who Liked Dogs", "Try The Girl" and "Mandarin's Jade"], and
The Lady In The Lake [assembled with "Bay City Blues", "Lady In The Lake", and "No Crime In The Mountains"],
the first, second and fourth, respectively, of his seven novels featuring the archetypal noir detective Philip Marlowe. (The High Window, The Little Sister and its follow-up The Long Goodbye were all wholly originated as novels, while Playback was rewritten from an unused treatment that did not originally have Marlowe as a character)
Several years after Chandler's death in 1959, Ballantine Books, which in the '60s and '70s had the licensing rights to Chandler's work, went ahead and published these as a group in the book we have here, Killer In The Rain.

Unfortunately, no publisher since has put these eight stories out again - neither Vintage, which publishes all seven novels as well as the contents of the three Ballantine collections of pre-novel short stories (The Simple Art Of Murder, Pick-Up On Noon Street, and Trouble Is My Business); even the two volume collected works published in handsome hardcover form by Library Of America, virtually complete in every other aspect, omits these stories, which leads one to wonder if the Chandler estate - such as it is - has reinstated Chandler's ban on the public having access to these stories - until such time as they truly become public domain.
With the trend towards longer copyright life -designed soley to keep uncreative marketing/publishing people making an easy living off work which, after the creator's death, should belong to the freely accesible world culture domain, instead of putting more effort into marketing the works of the living creators who most deserve the remuneration whilst still alive - many of us may not actually still be here when they can be published by anyone without restriction. So grab a copy of these original masterpieces while there are dealers still with copies!~ MannyLunch

5-0 out of 5 stars Eight short stories Chandler didn't want reprinted!
What the description fails to mention is that Raymond Chandler did not allow this particular group of stories to be republished after their initial appearances in pulp magazines of the thirties.
The reason? These were the eight stories that Chandler cannibalized to form the substance and sub-plots of:
The Black Sleep [taken from "The Curtain" and "Killer In The Rain"],
Farewell My Lovely [using "The Man Who Liked Dogs", "Try The Girl" and "Mandarin's Jade"], and
The Lady In The Lake [assembled with "Bay City Blues", "Lady In The Lake", and "No Crime In The Mountains"],
the first, second and fourth, respectively, of his seven novels featuring the archetypal noir detective Philip Marlowe. (The High Window, The Little Sister and its follow-up The Long Goodbye were all wholly originated as novels, while Playback was rewritten from an unused treatment that did not originally have Marlowe as a character)
Several years after Chandler's death in 1959, Ballantine Books, which in the '60s and '70s had the licensing rights to Chandler's work, went ahead and published these as a group in the book we have here, Killer In The Rain.

Unfortunately, no publisher since has put these eight stories out again - neither Vintage, which publishes all seven novels as well as the contents of the three Ballantine collections of pre-novel short stories (The Simple Art Of Murder, Pick-Up On Noon Street, and Trouble Is My Business); even the two volume collected works published in handsome hardcover form by Library Of America, virtually complete in every other aspect, omits these stories, which leads one to wonder if the Chandler estate - such as it is - has reinstated Chandler's ban on the public having access to these stories - until such time as they truly become public domain.
With the trend towards longer copyright life -designed soley to keep uncreative marketing/publishing people making an easy living off work which, after the creator's death, should belong to the freely accesible world culture domain, instead of putting more effort into marketing the works of the living creators who most deserve the remuneration whilst still alive - many of us may not actually still be here when they can be published by anyone without restriction. So grab a copy of these original masterpieces while there are dealers still with copies!~ MannyLunch ... Read more

19. The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Nonfiction 1909-1959
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-10-03)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802139469
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Raymond Chandler Papers brings together the correspondence and other previously uncollected writing of America's undisputed master of crime fiction and creator of the iconic private eye Phillip Marlowe, revealing all aspects of the great artist's powerful personality and broad intellectual curiosity. Featuring a selection of Chandler's previously unpublished early writings -- including a gripping piece about his combat experiences in World War I -- and an abandoned profile of the infamous mobster "Lucky" Luciano, The Raymond Chandler Papers is a must-have for all true fans, and an important contribution toward understanding the life and work of the enigmatic man Evelyn Waugh called "the greatest living American novelist." "[M]akes clear the private Chandler was just as powerful, and his wit was as cutting as Marlowe's...." -- Roger Lowenstein, The Wall Street Journal" "For the Chandler fan, The Raymond Chandler Papers ... is a treasure-trove." -- David Lehman, The New York Times Book Review ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A real pleasure
Not just for Chandler fans (though anyone who's read Chandler is a fan).Not just for writers (though anyone who writes will be comforted and instructed).The book is a wonderfully keen (and occasionally cranky) observation of America in the 1940s and 50s, with buckshot at Hollywood, politics, crime, critics, corruption, literature and life.Curl up on a snowy weekend with this crackling American voice. Chandler is great company.

And if you're really into Chandler, try Frank McShane's biography of him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sunbelt Existentialism
Much of The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Nonfiction 1909-1959 is gleaned from Chandler's La Jolla years, when he would dictate his correspondence late into the night. Written with a pitch-perfect ear for the American vernacular and the grammatical fastidiousness of a man born, bred, and classically educated in England, Selected Letters is an omnium gatherum of blunt, bleakly funny bon mots. On California: "There is a touch of the desert about everything in California, and about the minds of the people who live here." "We are so rootless here. I've lived half my life in California and made what use of it I could, but I could leave it forever without a pang." On his fan mail: "...[A]nother letter I had once from a girl in Seattle who said that she was interested in music and sex, and gave me the impression that, if I was pressed for time, I need not even bother to bring my own pyjamas." On himself: "All my best friends I have never seen. To know me in the flesh is to pass on to better things." Written in the dead of night with a Dictaphone and a bottle of gin, Chandler's letters are an inexhaustible fund of insights into the noir aesthetic, the sublime agonies of the writer's life, the American Language (as Mencken called it), and, forever and always, the sunbelt existentialism that shadows the California Dream.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, Hilarious, and Sometimes Sad
Raymond Chandler wrote his letters, for the most part, late at night after a day of drinking. The letters provide an insight into the man who created the quintessential fictional PI, Philip Marlowe, and elevated what he called formula writing into a class of literature recognized by his contemporaries as art. The letters range from his laugh-out-loud take on science fiction--"Did you ever read what they call science fiction? It's a scream. It's written like this: I checked out K19 on Adabaran III, and stepped out through the crummaliote hatch..." to the sadness he experienced when his wife of more than thirty years passed away. I enthusiastically recommend this book. Even people who hadn't had the good fortune to read his classic mystery novels will be highly entertained.

3-0 out of 5 stars Repeat material
I was surprised that so much material from a previous collection ('Selected letters of Raymond Chandler', ed. McShane, 1981)is repeated in this book. Maybe I didn't do my homework, but I don't recall this fact being mentioned in promotions or reviews. When you're paying (as I did) [price] for a book, it's disappointing to keep coming across previously published letters. Chandler's writing is still great, but I'm sure he'd have something to say about this practice.

4-0 out of 5 stars So good it'll make a bishop kick in a stained glass window
What a fun collection this is!Another book of letters by another famous author I read recently was embarrassingly boring--it never should have been printed.But Chandler's style and pithy observations make this collection a treat.Though a loner and a lush, he maintained cordial relations with his colleagues, and his comments on the passing scene are keen. From acerbic observations on life in southern California, to wry descriptions of his cat's habits, to sometimes generous and sometimes acerbic appraisals of agents, publishers, and fellow writers, his prose is absolutely sparkling.

His coverage of Oscars night in the mid-Forties for The Atlantic magazine is a masterpiece of scorn for the glitterati.Around the same time he accurately dismisses the new medium of television's supposed threat to the book industry.People who tune in to watch "fourth-rate club fighters rub noses on the ropes are not losing any time from book reading."Just as frequently, Chandler comes across as thoughtful and a good friend--not at all Marlowe-ish, though you get the feeling he could be a tough guy if need be.If you read only one book of collected letters of a famous author this year, etc. ... Read more

20. The Lady in the Lake
by Raymond Chandler
Paperback: 272 Pages (1988-08-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394758250
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A couple of missing wives—one a rich man's and one a poor man's—become the objects of Marlowe's investigation. One of them may have gotten a Mexican divorce and married a gigolo and the other may be dead. Marlowe's not sure he cares about either one, but he's not paid to care. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars 2 femme fatales and snappy dialogue - what more could you want?
As a follow-up to The Big Sleep and on the recommendation of Amazon reviewers, I bought _The Lady in the Lake_.As much as I enjoyed _The Big Sleep_, this is head and shoulders (big, broad shoulders in a snap-brim fedora and zoot-suit) above the other noir novels (The Maltese Falcon for example) I've read.Chandler provides us with two mysteries (and therefore twice the femme fatales) overlaid starkly portrayed class divisions.The plot is typical Chandler (I'll let him summarize it): "Detective confronts murderer.Murderer produces gun, points same at detective.Murdere tells detective the whole sad story, with the idea of shooting him at the end of it.THus wasting a whole lot of valuable time, even if in the end murderer did shoot detective.Only murderer never does.Something always happens to prevent it.The gods don't like this scene either.They always manage to spoil it."

The gender expectations (and inter-relations) are vintage 1940s, and some of the colloquialisms are passe, but the creativity of metaphor ("Blue Ali Baba oil jars were dotted around, big enough to keep tigers in.There was a desk and a night clerk with one of those mustaches that get stuck under your fingernail.") and of course the dialogue (oh, that dialogue!) keeps me coming back.An added bonus is that there are no open-ended conclusions, and the resolution to the twin plots are neither intentionally obfuscated nor easily discovered.In this respect, it is among the higher-quality mysteries.For fans of Chandler, this is a no-brainer.For those unfamiliar with the author or the genre, this sets the bar pretty high in terms of expectations, but clearly among the better works.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lady in the Lake is a classic noir classic from the pen of the dean of the genre: the eloquent Raymond Chandler
The Lady in the Lake was published in 1943. Its author is Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) whose beautiful prose style is riveting in its clearness, conciseness and metaphorical beauty. The subjects Detective Phillip Marlowe deals with are horrible and smelly human beings in the tough world of wartime Los Angeles. This book is no exception. You can feel the heat of a southern California sun as you walk the shadow streets, check in to a cheaphotel and hear the bullets fire into the tropical night.
The intricate and surprising plot concerns Phillip Marlowe being hired to trace the whereabouts of Derace Kinglsey's straying wife. Kingsley is a cosmetics firm executive and well to do. He is carrying on an affair with h is sexy office secretary Miss Adrienne Fromsett. Marlowe follows the trail to Pumace Lake where he meets Bill Chess whose own wife Mildred Haviland Chess has flown the coup! Chess is an irascible mean drinker who had a fling with Mrs, Crystal Kingsley to the utter horror of his tough broad of a spouse.
Marlowe and Chess discover a dead blonde floating in the lake. It is assumed the body is that of Mildred Chess.
Marlowe also learns of Chris Lavery a boy toy who later in the tale turns up murdered in his shower stall. Along the way we see Marlowe being roughed up and jailed by the L.A. cops. The death of Mrs. Albert S. Almore (M.D.) is also connected to the crimes. Who is the lady in the lake and what thread will tie together all the stray sheets of evidence? Only the mind of Phillip Marlowe can solve this difficult case.
Ross MacDonald said that Chandler wrote like a slumming angel. He was on target! If you want gritty crime fiction then turn to Chandler. This is one of his best books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Murders, but ....
... they're all beside the point. "The Lady in the Lake", like all of Raymond Chandler's novels, is about atmosphere, about the constant scent of lurking menace, and the menace is "Lady" is almost palpable from the first page to the last.I've been catching up on "crime fiction" lately - both the old stuff like Chandler and Rex Stout and new stuff bike Tallis and Indridason - and what surprises me about the genre is its intellectuality. Even tough guy private detective Philip Marlowe has a fine-grit wit and a sly sense of allusion that would be wasted on a reader without some of the same instincts. In short, I'm beginning to catch on to why so of the smartest people I know are addicted to crime fiction.

Marlowe attracts truculence like a baby in a stroller draws ga-ga-goos. Part of the fun is in Marlowe's steely-gray ability to glare 'em down, both the hard bodies and the babes. Another part is in Marlowe's stoicism when he gets smacked around, as he does inevitably in every episode. He's a "cheap date' for the brutal sociopaths of his world, ten bucks a day and no apparent urge to "better' himself. The only characters in a Raymond Chandler novel who don't bristle with rage and cynicism are a few scared-rabbit parking-lot attendants, and a corpse or two.

But the real anti-hero of the "Philip Marlowe Novels" isn't the impassive pug investigator. It's Los Angeles, or rather the greater Los Angeles area, the final collecting pond of westward-ho whither everything loose in America eventually rolls: the sleazy easy and the scummy crumby, the glitzy wealth beside the trashy poverty, all having in common just their raw transitory meaninglessness, the cheap thrill society with no history and no desire for a future. It's a question to me - a chicken-or-egg question - which came first, Los Angeles or the indelible image of Los Angeles created by Raymond Chandler in his novels and by Hollywood in films like "Chinatown." In either case, it hasn't changed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Laurel for the Master
It's often said Chandler could not plot, but The Lady in the Lake gives the lie to that tale.The Lady in the Lake has the complexity of an Agatha Christie or Freeman Wills Crofts and for once Chandler manages to fully (well, almost) make sense of it all at the end.Here the plot revelations keep one turning pages, along with the writing.Characters are vivid as ever, and more plausibly presented than in The Big Sleep.Not as moving a story as Farewell, My Lovely, but beautifully plotted, The Lady in the Lake is a pinnacle of genuine detective fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marlowe in the mountains...
One of the fun things about Chandler can be familiarity with the LA area in which his tales take place.This time, Philip Marlowe goes sleuthing in the San Bernadino Mountains in a town that, in the real world, is named Big Bear Lake.Such surroundings allow the entrance of a different sort of character - the rustic lawman.It's a nice counterpoint to the city savvy Marlowe and distinguishes this novel from Chandler's others.

Reading Chandler's Marlowe novels in quick succession may not the optimum way to enjoy them.While they remain suspenseful and entertaining, the genre requires a set formula that cannot vary overmuch from murder, blackmail and mistaken indentity.The only variance being who, where, and for what purpose.I suspect the intervals between original publication were the pause Chandler's contemporary readership needed.

Nevertheless, The Lady in the Lake remains highly readable.At the climactic moment when Marlowe unravels the mystery, I found I couldn't put the book down despite needing to be elsewhere.Thus, Chandler's skill as a wordsmith compensates for any formulaic repetition. I found The Lady in the Lake second only to Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely in compelling, 40's-era detective fiction. It is another 5-star reading experience. ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats