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Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler Books

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In 1939, his first novel, The Big Sleep, was published. He went on to write six more novels, many of which were made into movies. He also wrote original screenplays, such as Double Indemnity (1944) and Strangers on a Train (1951).

Born out of the tradition of Hammett and James M. Cain, Chandler's work and his protagonist Philip Marlowe stand as one of the landmarks of American literature.

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P Marlowe - 07:27am Oct 26, 1998 PST(#8 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

I also liked Mitchum's portrayals. However, Robert Montgomery's characterization of the famous Marlowe was unforgetable in "The Lady in te Lake." Bogart made a much better Sam Spade than Marlowe. Dick Powell was totally unbelievable as was James Garner. Elliott Gould did a very passable Marlowe in the haunting "The Long Goodbye."

Paul Watson - 01:49pm Oct 28, 1998 PST(#9 of 79)

In the early '80s HBO produced a Marlowe series with original episodes (some based on Chandler stories, I think). Powers Boothe played Marlowe, and fairly well, though I don't recall the series that well and had not read the books at that time. Boothe certainly fitted the physical description from the stories; Marlowe was tall and (according to at least one female in the books) "well-built".

Does anyone know if these are available on video?

P Marlowe - 07:01pm Nov 3, 1998 PST(#10 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

Paul, I don't recall those at all. I too like Powers Boothe as Marlowe. I always presumed Marlowe was good-looking albeit rough looking, because most of the women found him attractive. But so much of his appeal was his aloofness and indifference. Like anyone who can't be had, the unattainable is that which is sought, for only then can it be manipulated. And everyone in Chandler's stories was a manipulator, if you think about it.

Hugh Drummond - 08:20am Nov 7, 1998 PST(#11 of 79)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

I've just started to read Chandler. I wonder if anyone out there can give me a list of 'must reads'? please, huh, please?


P Marlowe - 12:52pm Nov 7, 1998 PST(#12 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

Hugh, all the books are good, however, a couple of them are great -- "The Little Sister" and "The Long Goodbye" are my two favorites, however, "The Big Sleep" is the first and best known. They are all unforgettable -- not so much who-dunits as why dunits. The characters are unparalleled. Chandler's body of work reveals a most disturbing side of the American character, one with which we are infinitely more familiar today than were the readers of his day. A very dark nature indeed.

The disciple of Father Brown - 01:29pm Nov 19, 1998 PST(#13 of 79)

Indeed. The why-done it is often so much more satisfying that the simple Who. After all, we are all potential criminals. It is the reason why that potential becomes fulfilled that is so fascinating. Why a sinner becomes a criminal. If a writer does not portray the criminal as a character, the reader can't identify with that character. It perpetuates the myth that crimes are only done by criminals.

Hugh Drummond - 08:43am Nov 26, 1998 PST(#14 of 79)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

Thanks for the advice Marlowe. However the greatest problem possible has just overcome me. My public library has ONE Chandler book on it's shelves. Life's like that though, isn't it? No Algy, not like that.


Charles Wille - 08:27pm Dec 1, 1998 PST(#15 of 79)

I've just finished watching a Bravo piece on Chandler. Can anyone recommend a credible biography?

LiAnna Davis - 06:53pm Dec 3, 1998 PST(#16 of 79)

"Raymond Chandler, A Biography," by Tom Hiney and "The Life of Raymond Chandler," by Frank MacShane. I'm not sure if they're credible, but they both pretty much tell the same tale, so I'm assuming they're true. "Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler," edited by MacShane is also quite fascinating.

P Marlowe - 12:01pm Dec 5, 1998 PST(#17 of 79)
Glenview 7537 - Hollywood

Several years ago read a fascintating essay about Chandler and Hitchcook. Chandler wrote screenplay for "Strangers on a Train." Two crazy geniuses at odds with one another over creative license. Both possessing strength of character and conviction. Think it was written by Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto, but don't remember book title.

Josephine McMullen - 01:28am Mar 13, 1999 PST(#18 of 79)

I have been reading Chandler insanely for the past 8 weeks... I'd like to find a 1st edition or an autographed edition of one of his books. Does anyone know where I might get one of these?

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