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The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, Playback [Hardcover]

Raymond Chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 15 2002 Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Creator of the famous Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler elevated the American hard-boiled detective genre to an art form. Chandler’s last four novels, published here in one volume, offer ample opportunity to savor the unique and utterly compelling fictional world that made his works modern classics.

The Lady in the Lake moves Marlowe out of his usual habitat of city streets and into the mountains outside of Los Angeles in his strange search for a missing woman. The Little Sister takes Marlowe to Hollywood, where he tries to find a sweet young thing’s missing brother, uncovering on the way a little blackmail, a lot of drugs, and more than enough murder. In The Long Goodbye, a case involving a war-scarred drunk and his nymphomaniac wife has Marlowe constantly on the move: a psychotic gangster’s on his trail, he’s in trouble with the cops, and more and more corpses keep turning up. Playback features a well-endowed redhead who leads Marlowe to the California coast to solve a tale of big money and, of course, murder.

Throughout these masterpieces, Marlowe’s wry humor and existential sense of his job prove yet again why he has become one of the most recognized and imitated characters in fiction.

Frequently Bought Together

The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, Playback + The Big Sleep; Farewell, My Lovely; The High Window + The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and Selected Stories
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Product Description

From Library Journal

It was a big year for Chandler: not only did Knopf release his full canon in this hardcover trio, which includes some long-out-of-print stories, but Vintage also released a new set of paperbacks (LJ 7/02) of all his books. (LJ 9/15/02)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Raymond Chandler is a master.” –New York Times

“Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence.” –Ross Macdonald

“Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.” –Paul Auster

“The prose rises to heights of unself-conscious 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…The reader is captivated by Chandler’s seductive prose.” –Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books

“Chandler is one of my favorite writers. His books bear rereading every few years. The novels are a perfect snapshot of an American past, and yet the ruined romanticism of the voice is as fresh as if they were written yesterday.” –Jonathan Lethem

“Chandler seems to have invented our post-war dream lives–the tough but tender hero, the dangerous blonde, the rain-washed sidewalks, and the roar of the traffic (and the ocean) in the distance…Chandler is the classic lonely romantic outsider for our times, and American literature, as well as English, would be the poorer for his absence.” –Pico Iyer

With a new Introduction by Tom Hiney

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice way to begin Raymond Chandler addiction May 9 2004
Format:Hardcover
If you don't already have a bookshelf full of Raymond Chandler, Ross McDonald and other excellent mystery writers of those times this is a fine start, three good, solid novels to take up the shelf space of only one. I'd easily give every Raymond Chandler novel he ever penned 5 stars and these are no exception. You won't go wrong reading Chandler mysteries and you won't go wrong with this compact edition of three great books in one.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice way to begin Raymond Chandler addiction May 9 2004
By Jack Purcell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you don't already have a bookshelf full of Raymond Chandler, Ross McDonald and other excellent mystery writers of those times this is a fine start, three good, solid novels to take up the shelf space of only one. I'd easily give every Raymond Chandler novel he ever penned 5 stars and these are no exception. You won't go wrong reading Chandler mysteries and you won't go wrong with this compact edition of three great books in one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chandler reigns Jan. 20 2006
By impitbosshereonlevel2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I first came across Chandler when I heard the Coen brothers interview and discovered that 'The Big Lebowski' was written in the style of a Chandler novel (name itself being derived from 'The Big Sleep'). This alone interested me enough to buy and read The Big Sleep.

Six novels later, I'm still reading Chandler novels, and still finding each and every one different, interesting and intriguing. The main character Marlowe is a wisecracking detective, wary of women - whom he obviously mistrusts - except for the "bad type of women", for whom he does not particularly care. He is also a complex, intelligent man, often an altruist who goes to some extraordinary lengths for his clients, even when he's not paid.

Novels are usually set in 30's/40's Hollywood and Bay City (which is since called something else), and are especially nostalgic, if you've lived in the surrounding areas.

Chandler's writing is funny and unique - the stories - all told in first person, are written so that the reader is both aware of Marlowe's conscious thoughts, and at the same time, when the ending or some pivotal point in the story arrives - is not. This point is not easy to describe, but it works extremely well - the stories are always amusing, captivating, and suspenseful.

I will easily recommend any Chandler novel for anyone interested in mysteries, as well as to those that enjoy unconventional styles of storytelling.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable Feb. 11 2010
By Christopher Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The last few years, I've gotten hooked on Perry Mason reruns on TV, despite their often mediocre plots and their apparently mandatory goofy closing scenes. I guess it is the show's "atmosphere" that I like. I was hoping to find something to read that had that same sort of feeling and that was well-written, and I decided to give Raymond Chandler's novels a try. He wrote about crime in early modern L.A., and critics seemed to revere his writing style, so I thought these were good candidates. Also, I was hoping that they were written long enough ago that things were kept on a PG level, something that practically no fiction written nowadays can seem to manage.

I started reading his novels chronologically 3 months ago (in the other Everyman's volume), and I finished the last one (in this volume) last night. These books are definitely page-turners, and it was hard to let a completed novel sink in for a day or two before beginning the next one. Would I recommend them to others? Well, not unreservedly, but I don't feel that the time I spent reading them was wasted.

I'm an Austen/Dickens fan, and (if a cross-genre comparison isn't simply absurd) I can't put the quality of Chandler's writing in their class, but he does have an interesting spare style. There are times that the wise-cracking dialogue does come close to self-parody: In _The Big Sleep_ when Marlowe says that someone was talking like he walked out of a gangster movie, I couldn't see much difference between the way that character talked and the way everyone else in the book did.

For the most part, my hope for some PG reads was satisfied, although there is a clear drift towards more explicitness as one moves from the early books to the late ones. (That's at least part of why I liked the early ones more.)

If Chandler's characters didn't smoke or drink, his books would be about 25% shorter. Are there any children anywhere in the Southland that Marlowe describes? Not that I can remember. The absence of basic human affection was pretty hard for a Dickens fan to take. Marlowe seems to see women as objects to make passes at, to make out with (in the early novels), to bed (in the later ones), and, oh yes, to tolerate as clients. And on the last page of _Playback_ when Chandler does make an attempt to move Marlowe into a lasting relationship, it just rings false.

On Perry Mason, you can get a pretty good idea who's going to get murdered before the murder occurs, because it has to be a somewhat unlikeable character. On a lot of other mystery shows, murder is rarely treated as tragic, more as a fun opportunity to solve a good puzzle. At least in Chandler's novels, even though the victims are often unsavory characters, you get a sense that murder is serious--that, as Eastwood said, when you kill a man you "take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have".
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Dec 9 2013
By Christopher Schindler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book, very readable type, great writing by one of the masters of the genre. Definitely recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlowe's final four Dec 5 2013
By Henry Porter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As you near the end of this second volume of Philip Marlowe novels (say, about halfway through The Long Goodbye) you can't help but get a little sad at the thought that soon you will have read them all and there will be no more.
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