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The Lady in the Lake Paperback – Aug 12 1988
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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.
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Nobody writes as well as Raymond Chandler . This is hard boiled writing at its best.Published 13 months ago by Michael bauer
I am working my way through the top 100 books of all time. This I on the list. The overview said that it has set the genre of investigative murder books. Read morePublished 22 months ago by cathy
The setting of 1940's California is great, and that is actually when Chandler wrote this book. It's a classic noir mystery and I couldn't help thinking as I was reading that it... Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by Shirley Schwartz
I really enjoyed this book because of its fast pace and very involved plot. Philip Marlowe is really at his best here. Read morePublished on June 23 2003 by Frederick Naile
Culled from an older short story, the book is one of his best. I enjoyed it more than any other Marlow story.Published on Aug. 16 2002 by Puneet Tanwar
'The Lady in the Lake' by Raymond Chandler is one of those mystery novels you either love or hate: a murder mystery becomes more and more twisted as a super sleuth, in this case... Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2002 by lazza
In my estimation, the weakest of the Marlowe series. But hey, middling Chandler is still a whole lot better than the best of most other writers. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2001 by Thomas F. Ogara
If Earnest Hemmingway wrote detective novels, this would be the result. Straight, to the point, in your face narrative by Phillip Marlowe makes these books hard to put down. Read morePublished on June 10 2001 by harvey dent