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Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: clean unmarked pages, tight spine, very light shelfwear to edges, appears unread, excellent condition overall
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The High Window Paperback – July 12, 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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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.

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

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (July 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394758269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394758268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The High Window
by Raymond Chandler
The "High
Window" begins one hot day in Pasadena, when "everything
that grew was perfectly still in the breathless air they get over
there on what they call a nice cool day." If we don't know we are
in a Philip Marlowe novel yet, we do as soon as we meet his new
client--a wealthy, obese widow named Mrs. Murdock. From the
overgrown, dimly-lit sun room where she holds court, she gives Marlowe
his latest p.i. assignment. He's to find a rare coin, the Brasher
Doubloon, that was stolen from her possession. He's also to find her
daughter-in-law, a former nightclub singer named Linda Conquest, who
disappeared at the same time as the coin. "A charming girl--and
tough as an oak board," Mrs. Murdock tells him, through sips of
her port.
Marlowe's search for the pair leads to a tale more dense
and tangled than the thick foliage of his client's sun porch. He
quickly finds himself enmeshed with a rich gambler and his
philandering, showgirl wife; a thug with a frozen eye; and a mortician
who delves into politics. Marlowe also has to contend with the police
and a man in a sand-colored coupé who keeps tailing him. Then there
are the corpses that keep piling up in his path. There's also his
client, who has her own share of tightly-bound secrets. A
near-invalid who spends her days lying on a reed chaise lounge,
Mrs. Murdock still holds an iron grip on her effeminate son and the
fragile woman who works as her secretary.
The plot is fast-paced
and engrossing, but the real power of the novel lies in the snappy
dialogue and beautifully conveyed atmosphere.
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Format: Paperback
Chandler wrote his first four novels in rapid succession, then went to Hollywood for four years before writing the fifth Philip Marlowe novel, "The Little Sister." These first four are "original recipe" Chandler -- the novels that defined high-brow hard-boiled.
"The High Window" (the third) is the anomaly of the first batch because it is the only novel prior to "The Little Sister" that was written as a novel; "The Big Sleep," "Farewell My Lovely," and "The Lady in the Lake" were all built using three to four of Chandler's earlier pulp short stories. Chandler called this practice "cannibalizing."
Chandler actually put aside the third cannibalized novel, "Lady in the Lake," to work on "The High Window." It's plot is only slightly less convoluted than the other three early novels, and it is slightly contrived, but what is interesting is the way in which it deliberately re-emphasizes concerns developed in its predecessor, "Farewell, My Lovely." Chandler was pressed to make sense of a detective with so much cultural capital and the ability to turn such a fantastic phrase, and in these two novels the emphasis is on developing Marlowe's class animosities and his determination to preserve the free-agency afforded him by his vocation. He comes across as a relative high-brow determined to take out his sense of failure on those who pretend to be his betters, and who employ him, but who are phonies. It is a novel about class and about Marlowe working to control the exploitation inherent in hiring himself out.
It may not be the best of the early four novels, but "The High Window" provides a clear and deliberate vision of Chandler's original conception of Marlowe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Chandler's third novel, Philip Marlowe is hitting his stride. He's getting his life under control, he's right on top of the bad guys, and his honorable intentions save the day.
In this outing, Chandler is hired by a rich woman to track down a missing coin. The woman assumes that a misbehaving family member has run off with it, but of course the story ends up far more complex than that and Marlowe wends his way through gritty LA streets in search of the truth.
Marlowe's penchant for doing the right thing is even more in evidence here, as he works to help out characters that many times don't realize they need help. He does it not for fame or fortune, but because it's the right thing to do.
Chandler's writing style shines with its usual brilliance, and he crafts his characters with an easy hand. He has brought Marlowe along from his initial hard-drinking despair into a detective who - buoyed with past successes - is now more comfortable with himself and taking better care of himself. The wit crackles, and the novel is as enjoyable and entertaining as anything Chandler has written.
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Having read a lot of Raymond Chandler through the years and now, finally going back and re-reading everything with a more widened perspective on the genre, The High Window easily stands out as his finest work.

The High Window, unlike a lot of genre Private Detective stories, which so many other authors have spent lifetimes struggling to copy and coming up short, keeps you guessing until the very end. Some authors give you a nibble about half way through a story and it falls apart in your lap and you figure it out. The High Window defies that solidly. You will be guessing about this one until the very end. Nothing is done ham-handedly or over-quick just to wrap it up either. This book could serve as a role model to other authors about how to write an ending, as I'm sure it has -- even if you don't write Detective Noir fiction.

If you're reading this review and a certain Humphrey Bogart film brought you here, and you don't know much about Raymond Chandler, just know that he was and is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. During his lifetime however he was dismissed as just a regular struggling hack novelist, because of the Genre, and not given a lot of attention. A lot of other authors, like Philip K. Dick for instance, another Angelino, suffered greatly under this prejudice during their lifetime because of supposed conventionalities. Sometimes, looking back you just have to wonder if it really was a West Coast prejudice, where anything outside of the New York circle of authors was thought worthless, or the critics just didn't have enough insight into life. Probably both.

The High Window moves very quickly, very smoothly, never misses a beat or falls flat for a single page.
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