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Chandler: Stories & Early Novels [Hardcover]

Raymond Chandler
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Chandler: Stories & Early Novels + Chandler: Later Novels & Other Writing + Dashiell Hammett: The Complete Novels
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From Amazon

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.

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THE MAN in the powder-blue suit-which wasn't powder-blue under the lights of the Club Bolivar-was tall, with wide-set gray eyes, a thin nose, a jaw of stone. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Stories, Great Edition, Great Book Jan. 29 2004
By "efoff"
Just my personal opinion, but I think Raymond Chandler is one of the most underrated American authors. Anyone who hasn't read "The Long Goodbye" must be punishing themselves for sins in a past life. "The Big Sleep" and "The High Window" are also excellent novels--good mysteries.
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Vicious Circle Feb. 28 2002
"Nothing made it my business except curiosity. But strictly speaking, I hadn't had any business in a month."(21) For Phillip Marlowe, the irresistibly aloof private detective who stars in Chandler's impressive detective novel, Farewell, My Lovely, crime is not something he seems able or willing to avoid. Hitting the streets of Los Angeles in the midst of the American gambling craze of the 1930's, Marlowe finds himself an inextricable player in a search for knowledge of past and present crimes and criminals.
Though he appears, on the surface, to be little more than a nosy, bumbling "private dick," his successful unraveling of a closely interwoven crowd of crooks proves, as one suspect cop observes, that Marlowe "played...smart....You must got something we wasn't told about." (228) Keeping his cards in his hand for most of the noel, Chandler shows that both he and Marlowe are "smart," leading the reader on a circuitous trail that shakes out only in the novel's final pages.
The story begins with a happenstance encounter between Marlowe and an ex-con called "Moose" Malloy. Marlowe cannot resist pursuing the suspicious-looking hulk of a man and soon finds himself both running after and from a variety of shady characters. In the course of his private investigations, Marlowe survives several near brushes with death, getting "sapped" by thugs near the novel's start, pumped full of opium in a suspicious hospital-like place, and stealthily boarding a closely guarded gambling boat to confront an infamous mobster in the middle of the night. In the end, Marlowe succeeds at untangling the web of murders and crimes that keep him running throughout the novel, but not before giving the reader the run-around as well. Chandler's smart, articulate prose lends itself well to the captivating story and intriguing characters that combine to make this a must-read for fans of detective fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good, good, GOOD editorial choice here! Dec 1 2001
Earlier anthologies of Raymond Chandler's works mostly center upon what have come to be known as his 'big four' or earliest novels -- The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, The High Window, The Lady In The Lake -- or upon his later, and admittedly (with the possible exception of The Little Sister) 'inferior' works. Chandler's earlier short stories ( many of which he "cannibalized," to use his word, for the material in his subsequent novels) are normally treated as a separate genre altogether.
This particular collection, rightly, combines Chandler's first three novels with the best of his earlier short stories, recognizing the thematic unity in those works. (Good as it is, "The Lady In The Lake" demands to be treated separately from Chandler's earlier efforts.)
Chances are, if you're reading this, you've read most, if not all, of Chandler's Phillip Marlowe novels. You may as well have read many, if not all, of the short stories presented here. But have you read these novels, and these short stories, TOGETHER in this context? Likely not. But you deserve to.
In the short stories, for example, there are protagonists named John Evans, Ted Carmody and Tony Resick (the last two of which, interestingly, inhabit locations which were most likely Los Angeles' Hotel Mayfair, with which Chandler had more than a nodding familiarity). And when, in Chandler's writings, did they meld themselves into what would be his penultimate creation, Phillip Marlowe?
And at which point did Chandler begin to write, as fellow writer Ross McDonald termed it, "like a slumming angel . . ."? The answers to both questions may well lie here, in this collection.
Pick up this collection! Read it! Discover the material anew!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories by a great author
Chandler is perhaps the greatest writer of detective fiction and a great author period. To ignore these books is to ignore much of what is great about American literature. Read more
Published on July 19 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, good, GOOD editorial choice here!
Earlier anthologies of Raymond Chandler's works mostly center upon what have come to be known as his 'big four' or earliest novels -- The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, The High... Read more
Published on Dec 1 2001 by Paul Dana
3.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete and Misleading
Chandler was a brilliant author and Marlowe is a timeless character. It was for these reasons that I bought this collection. However, it is incomplete and misleading. Read more
Published on March 29 2001 by Kristopher Haines
4.0 out of 5 stars Chander was a master
This two volume set on the entire canon of Raymond Chandlers work is beautifully put together and very enjoyable to read. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Chandler joins the ranks of America's elite authors
The addition of this title and its companion volume, "Later Novels & Other Writings," to the venerable Library of America series makes official what mystery fans have... Read more
Published on Feb. 11 1997
For you hard-boiled detective fans who are also intogeneology, you might like to trace Philip Marlowe's familytree. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 1996
For you hard-boiled detective fans who are also intogeneology, you might like to trace Philip Marlowe's familytree. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 1996
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