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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: clean unmarked pages, creases to spine, solid binding, some wear to edges and covers, nice reading copy overall
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Trouble Is My Business Paperback – August 12, 1988

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 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: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (August 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394757645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394757643
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
CAUTION: The edition shipped by Amazon is not the
642-page, twelve-story edition of this title advertised here and not the one which the online review discusses. For some bizarre reason, and sometime between 1988 and now, Vintage has edited out eight of the most important stories and left the reader with only four, but kept the same title: Trouble is My Business. An outrage, certainly. Don't be fooled by the bibliographic information given by Amazon: the book you receive will have only 214 pages and contain only four stories!
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I bought a dog-eared copy of this collection ("Trouble is My Business") at a book sale for $1.50 a year ago. The copy I have is thick with 12 stories. I bought this copy of "Trouble is my Business" to have a better copy, but was disappointed to discover that it had been whittled down to only the final four Marlowe stories. My question is, what the hell happened to the first 8 and why is Amazon.com still describing this as a collection of 12 when there are merely four? That's not jake, fellas.
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There are those who feel that The Big Sleep or Farewell My Lovely are Chandler's best work, but I disagree. As fine as they are, they were, after all, taken from his previously published short stories. Chandler was not a novelist, really. He was writer of scenes. He could spend paragraphs describing a room, or a person, or an open field, for that matter, and leave you begging for more. These four stories are the best he had to offer. Red Wind gets the most attention, usually, thanks to the classic opening paragraph, but my personal favorite is Goldfish. The character of Carol Donovan is the most exquisitely drawn hard-boiled female since Brigit O'Shaughnessy, and the finale is as good as the finale of Shane.
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Chandler fans reading this book for the first time will have many "deja vu" moments. The book contains four of the twenty short stories written by Chandler in the 1930s that were warm ups for the seven novels that followed. Chandler wrote detective mystery stories, and became famous for seven novels and a number of Hollywood screen plays, mostly about crime and private detectives in the "film noir" genre of Hollywood black and white films, or what is called LA "pulp fiction". Far from being an ordinary writer of cheap crime stories, Chandler became one of America's best writers from the mid 20th century.

Chandler was a Los Angeles accountant turned writer and he developed his own careful writing style. He started by first analysing other works, such as articles in the Black Mask mystery magazine. He used those stories plus local newspaper crime articles for plot ideas. He would set some of his stories in the fictional ocean side town of Bay City which is really Santa Monica, or set his stories in west Los Angeles, or other parts of southern California. He lived in Santa Monica after being fired from his oil executive job for drinking in the 1930s. He detested the place and moved into LA proper when he became wealthy as a screenplay writer in the early 1940s while working at Paramount. In the late 1940s he moved to La Jolla, just north of San Diego. Chandler started with short fiction pieces in the 1930s and then graduated to novels in 1938-39. From the early novels he was hired to write screen plays and eventually he wrote or created 59 works including stories, screenplays, and novels. His novels with the private Detective Phillip Marlowe brought him fame including the Bogart-Bacall movie The Big Sleep.
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Count Jason Ennis: You can find the rest of the stories from "Trouble is My Business" in the Chandler title "The Simple Art of Murder." That's another great collection of the master's work. Now that's a collection worthy of a bishop kicking a hole through a stained-glass window!" -- Dashiell Millar
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If you read them in the order of 'Sleep', 'Farewell', 'Window', 'Lake' and 'Sister', by this point you're tired and so are Chandler and Marlowe. The Little Sister has a cynical (as opposed to snarky) sense and you can feel the weight of the grime and gun oil Marlowe has been building up over the past five books. That's when it's time to dial it back to the demos, to the sketches, and see the pieces that make up the finished wholes. I always think of this and "The Simple Art of Murder" as akin to that little museum in Paris that has Picasso's studies for Guernica. Much more interesting than the finished piece. After going back to these early sketches, then you'll be refreshed enough to take on "The Long Goodbye", which is indeed a classic and needs to be appreciated in context.
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Raymond Chandler can write. In "Trouble" he described a fat, well dressed woman as having eyes like shoe buttons and skin like wet bird suet. That;s why he made a living writing gritty detective novels. The first paragraph of "Trouble" is worth the price of the book. Chandler's writing is dar, fast-paced, and full of surprises. For example, the "pretty girl" in "Trouble" might be petite and fetching, but she is as dangerous and destructive as she is beautiful. There is only one downside to Chandler: he uses obsolete, 1930's slang. which is impossible to decipher. His Depression "smack talk" should advance the plot, but sometimes it is as obscure as hip-hop trash. Like Shakespeare, the author's language is perfect but out of date. That said, the writing is so good and the characters are developed just enough to make "Trouble" a good read. Imagine a book where a lame-brained crook has had the firing pin from his gun removed by his more intelligent partner. Chandler didn't write that the crook was a violent imbicile. He showed us. When an author has the skill to weave descriptive comedy into a suspense narrative the cerebral reader will willingly wade through some obsolete dialog.
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