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The Lady in the Lake Paperback – Aug 12 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Aug. 12 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394758250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394758251
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Chandler's Philip Marlowe is the prototype for all the hard-boiled private eyes who have come down the literary pike after him. Marlowe is never fully dressed unless he has a cigarette dangling from his lip. Always ready with cynical quips, he consumes distilled spirits the way the rest of us take in oxygen. And when it comes to solving a case, Marlowe never bends the rules. No, he ignores the rules completely.
The Lady in the Lake starts off with Marlowe being hired by a business executive, who wants to locate his missing wife. She's described as being quite a handful. Young, blond and two times a maniac.....klepto and nympho. Within about two days, Marlowe runs across two dead bodies and finds that a death ruled a suicide 18 months before is really a covered up murder. The plot contains many unexpected twists and turns that serve to keep the reader interested and very curious about what is going to happen next. If I have any criticism of this book at all, its that a couple of the many plot devices seem a bit contrived.
In describing people, places and things, Chandler does not spare the adjectives. His remarkable prose provides very vivid images of what is happening and thereby allows the reader to be transported right into the narrative.
So, do yourself a favor and read The Lady in the Lake. You'll find out why Raymond Chandler's stellar reputation is so richly deserved.
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Format: Paperback
THE LADY IN THE LAKE is one of Raymond Chandler's weaker Philip Marlowe novels, if not the weakest. (I say "weakest" as opposed to "worst," because, to paraphrase the cliche, reading Chandler is a bit like sex: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.) But that's just it. It's not that this is a bad read by any stretch - it's head and shoulders above the best mysteries taking up space on the bestseller lists, and most of the mysteries ever published. But, because this is Chandler, it's held to a higher standard than disposable airline reads, and by that yardstick, it falls short.
The story of this (the first Marlowe novel written after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor), like all in the series, starts simply enough: Our Hero is hired by a wealthy businessman to find his missing wife. And like all Marlowe stories, the case soon becomes much more complicated, leading Marlowe on a trail of twists and turns through some of the darkest shadows of his world until, at last, all is revealed.
It is a fun trail to follow for the reader, if not always for Marlowe. Still, it doesn't match the intense intricacy of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY nor the lurid seductiveness of THE BIG SLEEP - both among the classics of 20th century literature. It even misses the layering of THE HIGH WINDOW, leaving a fun read without as much depth. Worse, the twists, while they might surprise or confuse readers fed on the whodunit simplicity of Agatha Christie, are, for devoted Chandlerites, more obvious. I guessed the titular lady's secret soon after she was found in the lake, and it was not too difficult to tie in several - although, I admit, not all - later twists.
Still, Chandler is Chandler. His dry, intoxicating prose is here, as is his mastery of characterization.
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Format: Paperback
Another noir classic by the master, in this episode detective Philip Marlowe finds crime as deadly in a lakeside resort as it is on the mean streets of the city of angels, and the body count mounts as the suspense builds and the plot twists. The character development is impeccable, the dialogue lively and bright and suitably sarcastic, and the plotting as convoluted as any Chandler classic would be likely to be.
The mountaintop setting for much of the story lends itself to some poetic prose from the sensitive tough-guy with an eye for beauty and an ear for simile. The narrative flows easily as Marlowe unwinds the mystery to it's inevitable conclusion, observing, lamenting, and condemning the corruption and injustice of the American social structure while withholding judgement from even the most vicious and violent, in his typically refreshing blend of cynicism and naivete.
The writing is spare and straightforward, but it's an illusion, an act of synergy, for the totality of effect is magnified beyond the sum total of the parts, proving that in literature as in art, less is more.
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Format: Paperback
Wayward wives seems to be the theme of Raymond Chandler's fourth Philip Marlowe novel, "The Lady in the Lake." A man named Derace Kingsley hires Marlowe to find his missing wife Crystal, who has run away with a playboy named Chris Lavery. The problem is that Lavery is back in Los Angeles and claims he doesn't know where Crystal is. Then Marlowe finds out about the apparent suicide of the wife of a doctor that Crystal had been seeing. Searching for clues in Kingsley's cabin in the mountains outside San Bernardino, Marlowe meets Bill Chess, the caretaker of the cabin, who lamentably tells Marlowe that his own wife had left him recently. Shortly thereafter, Marlowe and Chess find the corpse of a woman drowned in a lake near Kingsley's cabin.
To reveal any more information would not so much spoil any surprises as it would be a maddening exercise in convoluted logic. The plot is so highly complicated, in fact, that Chandler seems to have attempted to outdo even the novel's three predecessors ("The High Window" and the seminal classics "Farewell, My Lovely" and "The Big Sleep"). As usual, his character development and use of dialogue and action are peerless, and of course he is the master of employing characters with disguised or multiple identities. And perhaps most importantly, he knows how to disclose information to the reader at just the right pace to maintain the proper amount of tension -- never stretched so much that all credibility goes out the window nor so little that the story becomes dull.
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