Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1995
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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. What is convenient with Library of America is the bindings are wonderful, the print font easy to read, the books lie flat, and will last forever. The list prices are a little steep--but not if you consider the amount of literature you're getting for the cost. I've bought this book three times, and have loaned it out--only for it to never return. But that's why I buy books.
One final note--The previous review mentioned that in this edition Johnny Dahlmas was replaced by Phillip Marlowe in "Red Wind." I was certain it was Johnny, and used Amazon's "Look Inside" to confirm--it is. Chandler had a few detectives, that eventually evolved into Marlowe, and each was a little different. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Dahlmas (I'm probably spelling his name wrong, so the soft spot may be in my head), so if the editor x-ed him out, I'd be furious....
Buy this book.
"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. That usually spells trouble in the world of exchanged favors and crooked politics, especially when playing for keeps with "tough guys". These particular people had their own way of "dealing with a double-dealer" - a back seat with no door handles and a sweet odor of almonds.
"Pearls are a Nuisance" - in a vast departure from the others comes this bit of tomfoolery. In fact, you have to get into it awhile to figure out what he is doing; then it dawns on you with a big laugh. Picture Tom and Dick Smothers as private detectives, only Tom has a snootful. Or Leslie Neilsen with a sidekick. It starts off with the "detective" getting a call from his girlfriend who suspects a strand of phony pearls has been heisted from her employer and she thinks she knows who did it. As she outlines the theory to him, she casually mentions that the suspected perp "tried to kiss her." Bristling with testosterone, our man makes his way immediately to the perps address to confront him - not about the pearls so much as about the "tried to kiss" thing. Brandy and Scotch bottles appear as if from nowhere; after a very unusual brawl the two tipsy adversaries become fast friends and determine they can solve the mystery over another bottle of Scotch. It is truly a hoot, and totally unexpected. Forsooth, after reading Chandler's bio, one might suspect he had been hitting another flask of his own as wrote this one.
"Goldfish" - in another tale of precious pearls heisted, "goldfish" turned out to be a password of sorts - once that password was delivered, the answers to the next questions better be right and our detective is flying by the seat of his pants in that department; he knows just enough to get himself killed if he doesn't play it right. But the mastermind had outsmarted himself as most of them ultimately tend to do. The theft itself turned out to be the easiest part of the idea; because the merchandise became too hot to handle. A bloodhound-type pursuit ensues with a thrilling ending that was one of a kind.
These short stories, mingling with the novels, make for long, lingering evenings of reading enjoyment if you're in the mood for mystery, well done.