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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) Hardcover – October 1, 1995


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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) + Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) + Dashiell Hammett Complete Novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man (Library of America #110)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1088 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883011086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883011086
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Raymond Chandler is arguably the best American pulp novelist. His prose is so acutely visual, his characters so raw and intense that it is small wonder that all but one of his books have been made into movies. And his hero Philip Marlowe has graduated into American legend. Together with its companion volume (Stories and Early Novels), Later Novels and Other Writings forms the most complete Chandler collection in print. In addition to his later novels, this collection contains selected essays and letters, biographical information, and textual as well as explanatory notes. As an added bonus, the editor has included Chandler's screenplay to Double Indemnity, the classic Billy Wilder film adapted from James M. Cain's novel. You're able to compare the script to the finished movie and have the rare opportunity to see how one major crime novelist altered and interpreted another.

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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Customer Reviews

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If you liked the novels you'll want to read these articles.
Acute Observer
In addition, the book contains some essays and letters, including Chandler's writing on the mystery genre, which will interest any budding suspense author.
Kirk McElhearn
Chandler is arguably the best detective story writer out there.
Mark E. Baxter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Baxter VINE VOICE on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Chandler is arguably the best detective story writer out there. If you expand this genre to all mystery writers, he would still be one of the best.

Detective stories aren't as common as they once were, but if you look at the offspring of the Pulp magazine once so popular, television, they are still as popular as ever. Chandler was one author who defined what a detective story was. This book contains four novels:The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, and Playback. These are wonderfully entertaining stories that contain the archetypical hard-bitten detective, Philip Marlowe. After reading these stories you will forever see Marlowe in every detective story you see or read, from Magnum to the latest TV cop. How can you not love an author who sums up Modern American Capitalism with lines like these? "We make the finest packages in the world, Mr. Marlowe. The stuff inside is mostly junk." Or an author who in the early 50's, (50 years before the current 'Queers Dress Up' shows) so presciently wrote, "The queer is the artistic arbiter of our age, chum." Or his comment on a speech by a politician, "He did not bore us with any facts."

These books are not just riveting, fun reading, but full of thoughtful quotes like the above.

Chandler also is must-reading for his understanding of criminality, venality, human nature, Southern California, Movies, American culture and American relationship dynamics. I hate to use the word "classic" to describe stories that are just so plain fun to read, but I find it hard not to.

This volume also contains a screenplay, Double Indemnity, and a few essays and letters.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ash on May 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Contained in this volume are the last four (of seven) Marlowe novels, the Double Indemnity script co-written with Billy Wilder (including lines that were cut), his famous essay on "The Simple Art of Murder", one on "Writers in Hollywood", another titled "Twelve Notes on the Mystery Story", and finally "Notes (very brief, please) on English and American Style". Couple these with thoroughly entertaining and sometimes revealing letters to friends and fans, and you can't miss.
In one of these letters he even discusses fellow hardboiled writer Ross Macdonald's (here called John, as he hadn't changed his name yet) The Moving Target, which cribbed some ideas from The Big Sleep and Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man.
The novels themselves? Classic Chandler - enough said. If you'd like to know why you should expect the best in hardboiled detective fiction, well, read 'em all, or at least one. (If you're planning on that course of action, try the first in the series, The Big Sleep, included in a similar volume called Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories/The Big Sleep/Farewell, My Lovely/The High Window.)
Bottom line, this is required reading for anyone who won't read just anything but at the same time doesn't limit themself to Anna Karenina.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By RaDadIndy VINE VOICE on February 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, let me say that there's a separate volume of Chandler's early novels. As much as I liked this volume, I actually enjoyed the earlier novels just a little bit more and suggest starting there. I started reading one story and wound up going through all of them in both volumes in the space of a few months. I also wound up reading and enjoying all the Dashiell Hammett stories, but I give Chandler a slight edge.

I won't try to list all the ways these novels are great and entertaining, but here's one thought that hasn't been mentioned in other reviews. Chandler is excellent at presenting a hero-character who has to worry about money and making a living. Indeed, Chandler makes this issue integral to the character's persona and to the plot line. Yes, the books are escapist in so many ways. Yet, in this respect at least, they are far more realistic than almost all of the fiction, and much of the non-fiction, these days.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gregory McMahan VINE VOICE on January 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While Hammett may very well have carried the modern hard-boiled mystery forward into the light, Chandler defined it. Of the two, I think I prefer Chandler most. Chandler better than anyone else set the standard for the genre, and laid down the rules to which all the great mystery writers of today rigorously adhere. Here, in brief, is the mystery writer's credo:

'But down these mean streets must a man go who himself is neither tarnished nor afraid.'

As Chandler remarked in his classic essay, The Simple Art of Murder, Hammett rightly deserves the title of Founder of the modern mystery because he succeeded in giving murder back to the kind of people who commit it. So what kind of person goes up against the kind of people who committ murder? Chandler responds with Exhibit A: Philip Marlowe.

Chandler's Marlowe resonates in my favorite mystery romps, the Spenser series, and the archetype also finds its way into more than a few 'Good Cop' dramas.

I enjoy the escapades of Philip Marlowe simply because the wry cynicism, coupled with the tough moral fibre to get to the bottom of any affair and see justice (or at least some sort of closure) served, makes for truly fascinating escapist reading. Each of the books in this collection, as in the collection preceding it, amply deliver on this score.

If you happen to acquire this masterpiece, never let it go. These are classic books, and will never become dated. I personally prefer The Long Goodbye to The Big Sleep, and found the former a longer and more satisfying read. In every story of both collections, there is to be found a depraved tapestry of gilded greater Los Angeles society, quite literally ripped from the headline news of the day.
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