Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Simple Art of Murder Paperback – September 12, 1988
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“[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
Top Customer Reviews
Before you read all the other comments here, please be clear that this book is not like Chandler's other books. Unfortunately, some other people commenting on this book have not read the book - obviously. This book does not contain his character Philip Marlowe. He might have been in the 1968 version, I do not know. Here we have an essay by Chandler called "The Simple Art of Murder," followed by 8 short stories, each about 40 pages long. In some ways, these are a sampling of Chandler's "other stories." They still involve an LA based private detective, but each leading male protagonist has a different personality.
The great attraction of this book is the essay by Chandler on how he writes, and what he thinks of other writers. After reading the esssay, I immediately ran out and bought Hemingway's "Farewell to Arms." Chandler thought that this book probably has the best prose of 20th century novels. In the essay Chandler tells us about his philosophy to writing crime stories, and he makes comments on other writers from Hemingway to British mystery writer Dorothy Sayers. It is a good essay by Chandler but short.
I have read all 7 Chandler novels plus the short stories "Trouble is My Business." One can make the argument that the present book is perhaps his best work; although, the short story format does not make for an impressive read - as we see for example in "Farewell, My Lovely," or other full novels.
As a Chandler fan I read this introduction four times, and read most other stories twice. "Smart-Aleck Kill" has a very complicated plot compressed into a very short format.Read more ›
These stories, in which Marlowe as we know him is nowhere to be found, trace the evolution of Chandler's distinctive style and find him experimenting with various characters and points of view. Several stories feature third-person narration, contrary to the Marlowe novels' first-person perspective, and many stories feature protagonists who are obviously Marlowe prototypes. Naturally, all of the tales feature Chandler's poetic dialogue, remarkable descriptions, and enjoyably tangled plots.
Highlights of the collection include "The Simple Art of Murder," an essay by the author on the nature of mystery-writing, and the haunting "I'll Be Waiting," in which a lonely hotel detective tries to help a beautiful guest and ends up paying a dearer price than he could ever have imagined. My personal favorite among the stories is the surprisingly funny "Pearls Are A Nuisance," which proves that Chandler really did have a sense of humor.
Anyone looking for a fresh perspective on one of mystery's best writers should pick up "The Simple Art Of Murder."
Chandler chose to use the conventions of the Crime Novella format to his own - rather than any readership or editors - ends. Less monothematic than the given Short Story format, pre-flavoured with the expectations of the Crime buyer, the Novella and its narrow context of the stark contrasts of the Urban existence allow Chandler to define a notion of modern man and the modern morality of the individual in a socially dislocated environment - years before Welles and decades ahead of the Quention Tarantino's who currently tease us with the same issues and questions.
In "The Simple Art of Murder" the short stories and mini-novellas are sharp and compelling; in the title-giving essay, Chandler sits back and confesses to what compels him to write so. To paraphrase the author himself (speaking of Hammett for whom he had a great admiration), he took the art of murder from the counttry vicarage and "gave it back to the people on the street, to whom it really belonged anyway". Marlowe is silhouetted by his creator in his concluding idea of why a man such as him will always exist, why his morality must exist .. "down these mean streets a man must go, a man who is neither tarnished nor afraid...".Read more ›
If you've enjoyed any of Chandler's other books or films, you will love this book, which contains some of his best writing, and some very different stories, but don't waste your money buying the Kindle book. Buy yourself a dog-eared, broken backed, coffee stained, paperback edition. I wish I had!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Raymond Chandler is a great writer and these stories are very enjoyable.Published 10 months ago by Joe Evangelista
Solid short stories by one of the twentieth centuries' greatest writers of fiction. Characters are tersely well developed and ring true to human nature.Published 13 months ago by happy shopper
Important read for anyone interested in noir fiction by one of its founding fathers.Published 14 months ago by Frank Swertlow
The remainder of the book's short stories (all of which are around 40 pages) are typical Chandler - the snappy dialogue, the quick violence and endings in which the law doesn't... Read morePublished 14 months ago by doc peterson
Simply the best writer of all time of literary fiction posing as detective noir.Published 14 months ago by joe kilgore
This is a must read if you like Raymond Chandlers books it has all the classic situations that he dose so well great characters and settings too.Published 15 months ago by D.C.R.
I used to think it was Marlowe I liked, but Chandler that I didn't like. I read The Big Sleep well over a dozen times and simply couldn't tolerate the novels that came after that. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Flitcraft