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The Mammoth Book Of Private Eye Stories [Paperback]

Bill Pronzini , Martin H. Greenberg

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Paperback, April 15 2004 --  
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Book Description

April 15 2004
With its roots in the American private-detective fiction of the 1920s but traceable back as far as Sherlock Holmes, the private-eye story remains as popular as ever. Here are thirty of the finest short novels and stories from the hardboiled world of the private eye. The characters in this collection range from the tough, cynical, hard-drinking Philip Marlowe type to hard-hitting female sleuths and the one-armed intellectual Dan Fortune. This collection features old favorites and new contributions from masters of the genre, past and present, including Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, Michael Collins, Ed McBain, William Campbell Gault, and many more.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; First Revised Edition edition (April 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786713712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786713714
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.3 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #416,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Bill Pronzini is the author of over 50 novels including the Nameless Detective series. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America. Martin H. Greenberg has been called the king of anthologists, with more than one thousand anthologies to his credit, including the Murder Most... series. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have anthology Oct. 13 2007
By M. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Any book labeled The Mammoth Book of... risks sounding like a fifth grade primer. But if you love the distinctively American tradition of the private eye, this is it -- THE must-have volume. My copy is growing dogeared -- these is truly an amazing collection. My personal favorite is A Reason To Die, a Dan Fortune story so potent and poetic it drove me to write the late Michael Collins, who responded with some friendly insights about the story's origins. If Reason isn't enough, well, reason, you've got Philip Marlowe, Lew Archer, Amos Walker, Joe Puma, Kinsey Millhone, Sharon McCone, Matt Scudder -- it goes on and on. If any book can be called definitive about a genre, it's this one. Love to see someone, someday, do a second volume or a revised edition bringing things up-to-date with the top '90s and 21st Century eyes.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining! March 20 2007
By spiderorchid - Published on Amazon.com
This collection of detective-stories provides a great overview. The stories cover decades of fiction-writing, from the classic "Wrong Pigeon" by Raymond Chandler to modern writers of the private eye genre. There are sad and funny stories and all of them contain a lot of suspense.

The real jewel in this collection is Joseph Hansen's "Surf", featuring investigator Dave Brandstetter, hero of Hansen's "Brandstetter"-series.

If you like crime- and detective-stories you'll enjoy this book. Recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Solid Book With A Good Mix Of Tales Oct. 24 2008
By Bonner '62 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good collection of stories starting in the 1930's and going through the 80's. There are stories from the noir to one of my favorites, Shell Scott. The short stories don't all jump off the page at you but this is a book I could pick up at bedtime and know I would find a good read. It would be perfect to take with you on a vacation or business trip. I was burned by the same series' "Book of Comic Crime". That was a stinker. This one is fine. (I'm a hard grader I almost never give a 5 and rarely 4 star review).
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Overall Selection Feb. 5 2010
By observer22 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read several collections of mysteries/action stories and this tops them all. Any Mammoth book is a great buy in topics that interest you. Private Eye Stories benefits from several superb efforts including editor Bill Pronzini. Originally published in 1988, this was re-released in 2004. Strong efforts from the golden age 1950s from Ross Macdonald, Ed McBain, Henry Kane, Richard Prather and Howard Browne. This is a book that begs to be read more than once. The tepid ratings here puzzle me, if one enjoys mysteries this is a must buy.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another collection Jan. 28 2008
By Fred Camfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am giving this collection a neutral three star rating. It is yet another collection of short stories featuring one story each by a number of authors, in this case 24 authors. I really do not know how the editors select the stories for these collections. Perhaps they place all the available stories in a large bin, and draw them out at random. Contrary to the statement on the cover, it is NOT the "best in hardboiled fiction." It does not represent the best work of the featured authors and, indeed is not always their best short story (at least some have award winning short stories which were not included).

So, I give it three stars because it includes samples of work by a large number of authors, some better known than others. Some short stories are hard to find unless you find them in collections. But I will not give it more than three stars because it does not represent the best work of authors, and may mislead readers on the quality of their novels.

If you are a fan of the authors, and want to obtain their short stories, it is something worth buying. If you are looking for quality reading material, I would give it a pass and buy some of the outstanding novels by the authors.

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