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Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1995

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  • Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America)
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  • 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)
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Editorial Reviews Review

If you're looking for the perfect gift for yourself or some other lover of mysteries, this beautifully-made volume from the Library of America series will definitely prove that you care enough to send the very best. And if you haven't picked up The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, or The High Window recently, you'll be amazed at how well they stand up to the test of time. (A second handsome volume, Later Novels & Other Writings -- including The Long Goodbye -- is also available.)

From Library Journal

These additions to the venerable series make official what mystery fans have always known: Raymond Chandler is one of the gods of American literature. Following the trail blazed by Dashiell Hammett, Chandler created Philip Marlowe and set the standard against which all private detective fiction is measured. This two-volume set covers the full canon of Chandler's work from early pulp stories to all the Marlowe novels, the screenplay for Double Indemnity, and essays on the mystery genre plus the usual Library of America goodies such as notes on the text and a chronology of the author's life. In terms of literary inventions, the Wild West cowboy and the hard-boiled P.I. are this country's only true native sons and are deserving of respect. One of them at least now has it.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1216 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883011078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883011079
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Just my personal opinion, but I think Raymond Chandler is one of the most underrated American authors. Anyone who hasn't read "The Long Goodbye" must be punishing themselves for sins in a past life. "The Big Sleep" and "The High Window" are also excellent novels--good mysteries.
But what really makes Chandler's stories hold up so well is the language: "The Dancers is the kind of club that will dissolution you about what a lot of extra golf money can do for the personality" or "What does it matter, if you're breathing wind and air or oil and water--when you're sleeping the big sleep."
While the plots are wonderful period pieces of a young Los Angeles, the characters are richly drawn. Ever wonder where all those tv detectives came from? Right here.
Chandler's short stories are also supurb. My vote for the single best detective short story of all time is Red Wind--there is so much that happens in such a short story. No one should ever die without reading it....."Trouble is my Business" is also excellent....
Is this a complete collection of his short stories? No--There are a few I would have added, even though several of them were "canibalized" (Chandler's phrase) into later novels. The plot of "Bay City Blues" was built into "Lady in the Lake," but I think that story still holds up on its own. An earlier review also mentioned that "The Pencil" is missing. I can't understand why it was left out. "Killer in the Rain" also became "The Big Sleep," but it still has charm. "No Crime in the Mountains" is not included, but that's not much of a loss.
Not all of the stories in this book work--but that's going to be true with any collection.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paul Dana on December 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Earlier anthologies of Raymond Chandler's works mostly center upon what have come to be known as his 'big four' or earliest novels -- The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, The High Window, The Lady In The Lake -- or upon his later, and admittedly (with the possible exception of The Little Sister) 'inferior' works. Chandler's earlier short stories ( many of which he "cannibalized," to use his word, for the material in his subsequent novels) are normally treated as a separate genre altogether.
This particular collection, rightly, combines Chandler's first three novels with the best of his earlier short stories, recognizing the thematic unity in those works. (Good as it is, "The Lady In The Lake" demands to be treated separately from Chandler's earlier efforts.)
Chances are, if you're reading this, you've read most, if not all, of Chandler's Phillip Marlowe novels. You may as well have read many, if not all, of the short stories presented here. But have you read these novels, and these short stories, TOGETHER in this context? Likely not. But you deserve to.
In the short stories, for example, there are protagonists named John Evans, Ted Carmody and Tony Resick (the last two of which, interestingly, inhabit locations which were most likely Los Angeles' Hotel Mayfair, with which Chandler had more than a nodding familiarity). And when, in Chandler's writings, did they meld themselves into what would be his penultimate creation, Phillip Marlowe?
And at which point did Chandler begin to write, as fellow writer Ross McDonald termed it, "like a slumming angel . . ."? The answers to both questions may well lie here, in this collection.
Pick up this collection! Read it! Discover the material anew!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Strawgold VINE VOICE on October 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America)
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