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The Little Sister Hardcover – July 8, 1996


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Hardcover, July 8, 1996
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Otto Penzler (July 8, 1996)
  • ASIN: B000023VWT
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,647,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Chandler is not only the best writer of hardboiled PI stories, he's one of the 20th century's top scribes, period. His full canon of novels and short stories is reprinted in trade paper featuring uniform covers in Black Lizard's signature style. A handsome set for a reasonable price.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"Raymond Chandler is a master." --The New York Times

“[Chandler] wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered.” --The New Yorker

“Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious.” --Robert B. Parker, The New York Times Book Review

“Philip Marlowe remains the quintessential urban private eye.” --Los Angeles Times

“Nobody can write like Chandler on his home turf, not even Faulkner. . . . An original. . . . A great artist.” —The Boston Book Review

“Raymond Chandler was one of the finest prose writers of the twentieth century. . . . Age does not wither Chandler’s prose. . . . He wrote like an angel.” --Literary Review

“[T]he prose rises to heights of unselfconscious eloquence, and we realize with a jolt of excitement that we are in the presence of not a mere action tale teller, but a stylist, a writer with a vision.” --Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

“Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence.” —Ross Macdonald

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

“Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.” --Paul Auster

“[Chandler]’s the perfect novelist for our times. He takes us into a different world, a world that’s like ours, but isn’t. ” --Carolyn See

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

He sees the good parts that are going away and the bad that is yet to come.
Lorna Moravec
He was a professed admirer of the ultra-craftsman Flaubert, and it shows in the way he works at every sentence, indeed every word.
DAVID BRYSON
In other words, the story itself isn't all important, but it is somewhat important.
Michael G.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Paul Dana on December 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
Postwar L.A. -- and especially Hollywood -- is the setting for Chandler's fifth Marlowe novel which, like the time and place (and the author himself), is a little "off." Marlowe's beginning to tire, his loneliness is a bit more apparent, and the disillusionment has started to etch permanent lines on him.
None of which stops him. Neither does it make "The Little Sister" a bad work. In fact, it holds up remarkably well alongside Chandler's first four novels.
Chandler draws upon contemporary events and personages for much of his inspiration here (something he did in several earlier stories and novels, to a lesser degree); the photo which triggers the action in "Sister," for example, is based on an incident involving gangster Bugsy Siegel . . . but then the character of Steelgrave, himself, bears a more than passing resemblance to the then-recently deceased hood. It's equally evident that Chandler relied upon his recent screenwriting experience (and exposure to Paramount and Universal studios) for material and characters. There's an element of gleeful revenge, I suspect, for example, in the character of agent Sheridan Ballou: certain characteristics, such as his tendency to strut up and down his office twirling a mallaca cane, can only have been inspired by director/screenwriter Billy Wilder (with whom Chandler, collaborating on the screenplay for "Double Indemnity," shared an entirely mutual loathing).
Other characters, primarily a pair of mismatched thugs sent to intimidate Marlowe, are pure burlesque; Chandler appears to be simply indulging himself here (while he simultaneously manages yet another dig at the movie industry).
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
The latest in a long series of visits to LA had me refreshing my memory of one of my favourite novelists. As a young man I knew the Philip Marlowe books nearly by heart before I ever set foot in the city they put on the literary map. I have always thought that Chandler counts as literature not just as crime fiction. He was a professed admirer of the ultra-craftsman Flaubert, and it shows in the way he works at every sentence, indeed every word. He was English and as far as I know unrelated to the 'real' LA Chandlers (he attended the same school as P G Wodehouse, if you can believe it). He maintained that 'the American language' can say anything and in The Simple Art of Murder he took a brilliant potshot at the Agatha Christie school of English crime fiction , all tight-lipped butlers polishing the georgian silver and respectful upper-middles gathered to hear the amateur master-sleuth analyse over 5 or 6 pages which of them dunnit. His power of creating atmosphere is phenomenal, his dialogue is legendary, and for me The Little Sister is the best of the 7 Marlowes. It's at the crest of the hill, before he started to lose concentration in The Long Goodbye and lost just about everything in the sad Playback. I can still feel the heavy heat at the start of the book, and the dialogue is the best he ever did. Is there any other instance of anyone silencing Marlowe with an answer the way the beat-up hotel dick does when Marlowe tells him he is going up to room such-and-such and the hotel dick says 'Am I stopping you?'. And I cherish the bit about the same character tucking his gun into his waistband 'in an emergency he could probably have got it out in less than a minute'.Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Everyone, one way or another. Everyone except maybe Marlowe.

This isn't one of Chandler's better-known stories; as far as I know, it was never made into a movie. Maybe it's just a little too complex for a movie. It starts in the usual way. A young woman, beautiful (if she lets herself be) and in trouble, asks private detective Marlowe for help. She needs to find her brother, a small-town boy who's lost his way in the big bad city.

She's not quite what she claims to be, though, and the brother isn't what he should have been. As the story progresses, Hollywood and all the people in it lose their shine, and get darker and dirtier. And the bodies start to pile up ---

Maybe Chandler didn't invent American noir of the post-WWII era, but he certainly made it his own. If you liked 'The Big Sleep' and 'The Long Goodbye', you're sure to like this as well.

//wiredweird
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on September 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
As always, Raymond Chandler's writing technique is excellent in "The Little Sister." And while the premise is good--- a woman from Kansas coming to Philip Marlowe in hopes of locating her missing brother--- the story and its characters dissolve into eccentricity by the end of the book.

Chandler was such an excellent story teller, and part of his appeal was writing colorful mysteries that had the right mix of gritty reality and just a few dashes of improbable situations. The characters in this book start off well, but become more cartoonish as the story moves along.

In my opinion, there is no terrible Raymond Chandler book, but this does come close. If you have never read any of Chandler's work, this may not be the best place to start. "Farewell, My Lovely" and "The High Window" would be my personal picks as his finest work, but any of his other novels are superior to this.
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