Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America)

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3 thoughts on “Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America)

  1. 19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Stories, Great Edition, Great Book, January 29, 2004
    By 
    “efoff” (Ecotopia) –

    This review is from: Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) (Hardcover)

    Just my personal opinion, but I think Raymond Chandler is one of the most underrated American authors. Anyone who hasn’t read “The Long Goodbye” must be punishing themselves for sins in a past life. “The Big Sleep” and “The High Window” are also excellent novels–good mysteries.

    But what really makes Chandler’s stories hold up so well is the language: “The Dancers is the kind of club that will dissolution you about what a lot of extra golf money can do for the personality” or “What does it matter, if you’re breathing wind and air or oil and water–when you’re sleeping the big sleep.”

    While the plots are wonderful period pieces of a young Los Angeles, the characters are richly drawn. Ever wonder where all those tv detectives came from? Right here.

    Chandler’s short stories are also supurb. My vote for the single best detective short story of all time is Red Wind–there is so much that happens in such a short story. No one should ever die without reading it…..”Trouble is my Business” is also excellent….

    Is this a complete collection of his short stories? No–There are a few I would have added, even though several of them were “canibalized” (Chandler’s phrase) into later novels. The plot of “Bay City Blues” was built into “Lady in the Lake,” but I think that story still holds up on its own. An earlier review also mentioned that “The Pencil” is missing. I can’t understand why it was left out. “Killer in the Rain” also became “The Big Sleep,” but it still has charm. “No Crime in the Mountains” is not included, but that’s not much of a loss.

    Not all of the stories in this book work–but that’s going to be true with any collection. What is convenient with Library of America is the bindings are wonderful, the print font easy to read, the books lie flat, and will last forever. The list prices are a little steep–but not if you consider the amount of literature you’re getting for the cost. I’ve bought this book three times, and have loaned it out–only for it to never return. But that’s why I buy books.

    One final note–The previous review mentioned that in this edition Johnny Dahlmas was replaced by Phillip Marlowe in “Red Wind.” I was certain it was Johnny, and used Amazon’s “Look Inside” to confirm–it is. Chandler had a few detectives, that eventually evolved into Marlowe, and each was a little different. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Dahlmas (I’m probably spelling his name wrong, so the soft spot may be in my head), so if the editor x-ed him out, I’d be furious….

    Buy this book.

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  2. 8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Good, good, GOOD editorial choice here!, December 1, 2001
    By 
    Paul Dana (San Francisco, CA USA) –

    This review is from: Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) (Hardcover)

    Earlier anthologies of Raymond Chandler’s works mostly center upon what have come to be known as his ‘big four’ or earliest novels — The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, The High Window, The Lady In The Lake — or upon his later, and admittedly (with the possible exception of The Little Sister) ‘inferior’ works. Chandler’s earlier short stories ( many of which he “cannibalized,” to use his word, for the material in his subsequent novels) are normally treated as a separate genre altogether.

    This particular collection, rightly, combines Chandler’s first three novels with the best of his earlier short stories, recognizing the thematic unity in those works. (Good as it is, “The Lady In The Lake” demands to be treated separately from Chandler’s earlier efforts.)

    Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve read most, if not all, of Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe novels. You may as well have read many, if not all, of the short stories presented here. But have you read these novels, and these short stories, TOGETHER in this context? Likely not. But you deserve to.

    In the short stories, for example, there are protagonists named John Evans, Ted Carmody and Tony Resick (the last two of which, interestingly, inhabit locations which were most likely Los Angeles’ Hotel Mayfair, with which Chandler had more than a nodding familiarity). And when, in Chandler’s writings, did they meld themselves into what would be his penultimate creation, Phillip Marlowe?

    And at which point did Chandler begin to write, as fellow writer Ross McDonald termed it, “like a slumming angel . . .”? The answers to both questions may well lie here, in this collection.

    Pick up this collection! Read it! Discover the material anew!

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  3. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Pour the scotch and smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em, December 3, 2007
    By 
    Deric Clarke (Orange Curtain CA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) (Hardcover)

    What I consider one of the greatest descriptive writers in the Western cannon, Chandler can transport you in to old Los Angeles. Every story will make you crave a stiff drink and perhaps even leaving a smell of tabacoo in your clothes. I recomend these stories to people who want to understand LA better because Chandler caught the essence of the city that can even be seen today. Look down the 2nd street tunnel at 2 am and see that barrel of a gun or drive to the Rosebowl and see why he makes reference that there are no sidewalks in that wealthy neighborhood. If you want to learn about noir, there is a reason Chandler is considered one of the fathers.

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