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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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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
"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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thoroughly entertaining exploration of the detective genre prevalent in the 1940s & 1950s. I am currently conducting research in this arena and have encountered innumerable gems... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Fox-on-the-run
I grew up reading Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" series which I enjoyed tremendously. However they are a pale shadow of the works of Chandler. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael W. Rickard II
Chandler was the master of the pulp fiction novel. These offerings move quickly and you can practically see them as a Bogie film noir. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Chris Moore
Chandler is a true master. His stories are full of metaphors and similes that astound the reader. I bought this volume to study how he did it, but the stories are so well told I... Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by Chris
I returned this book immediately after opening it. The font used was too small to read comfortably and the print color was gray and not black. Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by Ron Karnes
Excellent collection of Chandler's early short fiction and his first novels. I have recommended Chandler to others. I'm always quoting his best lines.Published on May 2, 2013 by Edward Cline