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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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LiAnna Davis - 06:59pm Oct 24, 1998 PST(#6 of 79)

I am in the process of researching for a 25-page research paper on Chandler for my English class. I've read "Raymond Chandler, A Biography," by Tom Hiney, which is an excellent biography. I plan on reading McShane's "The Life of Raymond Chadler" also. I've just started reading "The Big Sleep," I've gotten through the first chapter. I'm required to turn in my notes, which makes me less interested in reading the books, although I'm afraid once I start I won't be able to stop. I'm also planning on reading a book of RC's letters. I've thumbed through it and he seems like a very gifted writer of letters as well as novels. Does anybody know where one can find old copies of Black Mask with his stories in it? I'd be interested in reading them.

Paul Bergin - 08:26am Oct 25, 1998 PST(#7 of 79)

Forget about finding originals of Chandler's Black Mask work. Unless you're wealthy, that is. Copies are rarely available and, when they do come on the market, are co$tly. The good news is that most, if not all, of Chandler's short stories have been reissued, some many times. Some paperback collections that one still sees in used book shops from time to time are: "Pickup on Noon Street," "Killer in the Rain," Trouble is My Business," and "The Simple Art of Murder" (which also contains the essay of that name). The first Chandler volume of the Library of America series also contains an excellent selection of his short fiction. Happy hunting/reading.

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.


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