The Little Sister Paperback – Aug 12 1988
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Remember those great film adaptations of Raymond Chandler's work? Who could forget Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep or Dick Powell playing the same character in Farewell, My Lovely? In Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe: The Little Sister, illustrator Michael Lark has given us a brand-new incarnation of Chandler's famous fictional detective, a "comic book" version of Chandler's 1949 mystery. When Orfamay Quest hires Marlowe to find her missing brother, the case at first seems pretty straightforward, but--beset by mobsters, blackmailers, and murder--Marlowe soon discovers that a missing person is the least of his troubles.
The Little Sister was not one of Raymond Chandler's best efforts, but Michael Lark has effectively tailored the text to clarify the original story, emphasizing through his "comic noir" artwork the dark, dangerous environs, both physical and psychological, in which Philip Marlowe still moves. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
As I see it, there are no less than four ways to view this novel.
The first way is as a murder mystery. A young woman from Manhattan (Manhattan, Kansas that is) hires Marlowe to find her missing brother. His subsequent search does eventually locate the young man but not before a drunk and a grifter are both murdered with an ice pick to the vicinity of the medulla oblongata. What is the motive behind these grotesque slayings? The motive is the urgent need to find a particular photograph. A photograph that shows two people sitting down to dinner in a restaurant. I'm not kidding.
The second way to view The Little Sister is as an affectionate sendup of noir crime writing in general and Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon in particular. This might explain why the complications are endless and so very difficult to follow. Perhaps Chandler felt the need to exaggerate the number and degree of plot twists in order to make a satiric point.
Thirdly, The Little Sister is a withering look at Hollywood and the recognizable types who dwell within.Read more ›
By 1944, Chandler had become a household name both in the USA and around the world for his tough-yet-sensitive, cynical-yet-romantic prose masterpieces. Around this time, Hollywood had come knocking. Chandler co-wrote the screeplay for "Double Indemnity" with Billy Wilder, and the first Marlowe novel "The Big Sleep" was made into a classic motion picture starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The money came rolling in: Chandler and his wife Cissy moved into a luxurious house in L.A.'s ritzy Pacific Palisades section. The Hollywood temptation came as well: Chandler began an affair with a secretary at Paramount Pictures and his chronic alcoholism--which was already bad--began to worsen.
In addition, during this time (the late 1940s), Los Angeles was rapidly transforming from what was once a small, coastal, desert community when Chandler had first moved there 30 years prior--into the enormous, sprawling, congested, and smoggy metropolis it is today. It's telling that Chandler moved 100 miles south to La Jolla, CA not long after this book was published.
One can sense while reading "The Little Sister" that Chandler was becoming bitter and weary--not only at the direction of his own life and the Hollywood movie machine (where writers are traditionally the low man on the totem pole) but also how his adopted home was changing...and not for the better, calling L.A. "a neon slum" and "a big, hard-boiled city with no more personality than a paper cup.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I can certainly appreciate why this was (and is ) considered one of his lesser novels. He seems to be trying to duplicate the success of his previous work and it ain't working!Published on March 31 2014 by Bill Armstrong
Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe detective stories certain vary in quality. While always capturing the ambiance on 1940s sleazy Los Angeles, the author often constructs mysteries... Read morePublished on Sept. 15 2002 by lazza
I liked the female character (the little sis) ... reminds me of Maltese Falcon. Neatly written. What can one say about Chandler - his style is gripping and really entertaining. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2002 by Puneet Tanwar
Private detective, Philip Marlowe, has been hired to find a missing brother of a concerned sister for a measly sum of twenty dollars. Read morePublished on July 30 2002 by Daniel Firli
The overly restrained Orfamay Quest (from Manhattan, Kansas) hires Philip Marlowe to find her recently gone missing brother, Orrin. Read morePublished on April 18 2002 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
Postwar L.A. -- and especially Hollywood -- is the setting for Chandler's fifth Marlowe novel which, like the time and place (and the author himself), is a little "off. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2001 by Paul Dana
Orfamay Quest is the little sister. Marlowe is the man. The story offers sex and murder. The dialogue is Chandler. So why is there no click, no snap? Read morePublished on May 18 2001 by Patrick McCormack
Raymond Chandler is possibly the greatest detective fiction writer of all time. The only people that even hold a candle to him are Hammet and in some ways Mickey Spillane. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2000 by Kenneth Keith
I've always been a fan of Raymond Chandler's books - they are so twisted and convoluted. Michael Lark has really brought that sense of being "in the dark" to his... Read morePublished on April 16 2000