|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||Oct 2002|
|Number of Pages:||656|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.55|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||8.5 x 5.25 x 1.5|
Born in Chicago but raised in England, where he studied the classics, Raymond Chandler had early jobs as a reporter for English newspapers. He also worked as an accountant, bookkeeper, and auditor. But his first love was writing, and from 1933 to his death, Chandler was a professional writer. In addition to novels and short stories, Chandler wrote screenplays. He won two academy awards, for Double Indemnity (1944) and The Blue Dahlia (1946). Urban America's darker side fascinated Chandler as a place where the promise of America has gone wrong, corrupted by greed, money, and power.
Into this setting Chandler places detective Philip Marlowe, a disillusioned idealist made cynical by what he sees on the streets of Los Angeles. Chandler is said to demonstrate the imaginative possibilities of the detective story as he transforms the genre from formulaic puzzlement to cultural inquiry.
It was a big year for Chandler: not only did Knopf release his full canon in this hardcover trio, which includes some long-out-of-print stories, but Vintage also released a new set of paperbacks (LJ 7/02) of all his books. (LJ 9/15/02)
Raymond Chandler can't be credited with inventing the hard boiled private eye genre, but he did perfect it, and since his death in 1959 no one has done it better. These new editions to the "Everyman's Library" collect the full canon of his work in the story and novel format. Collected Stories actually gathers for the first time all of Chandler's short fiction, including stories long out of print, for a grand total of 25. Some of the stories will be familiar as rewritten and laced into Philip Marlowe novels, but others, like "The King in Yellow", feature other detectives, e.g., Steve Grace, who appeared in only a single outing.
The novels are still available, but combined with the Stories volume, they make a handsome set and are reasonably priced for hardcovers. All three also contain scholarly introductions. Chandler's influence still resonates in PI novels today; every current popular sleuth, from Nathan Heller to Easy Rawlins, who does the right thing not because it's the law or because they're getting paid but because it is the right thing, has roots in Marlowe. Essential for all mystery collections.
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Raymond Chandler’s first three novels, published here in one volume, established his reputation as an unsurpassed master of hard-boiled detective fiction.
The Big Sleep, Chandler’s first novel, introduces Philip Marlowe, a private detective inhabiting the seamy side of Los Angeles in the 1930s, as he takes on a case involving a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder. In Farewell, My Lovely, Marlowe deals with the gambling circuit, a murder he stumbles upon, and three very beautiful but potentially deadly women. In The High Window, Marlowe searches the California underworld for a priceless gold coin and finds himself deep in the tangled affairs of a dead coin collector.
In all three novels, Chandler’s hard-edged prose, colorful characters, vivid vernacular, and, above all, his enigmatic loner of a hero, enduringly establish his claim not only to the heights of his chosen genre but to the pantheon of literary art.
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