Read The Raymond Chandler Omnibus: The Big Sleep / Farewell My Lovely / The High Window / The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler Free Online
Book Title: The Raymond Chandler Omnibus: The Big Sleep / Farewell My Lovely / The High Window / The Lady in the Lake|
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Reader ratings: 6.6
The author of the book: Raymond Chandler
Edition: Modern Library
Date of issue: May 12th 1980
ISBN 13: 9780394604923
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.72 MB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
I don't have a lot of experience with early detective fiction in the hard-boiled or noir vein so this was something different for me. I enjoyed all these novels to varying degrees. One of the things that was fun and added to the mystery and puzzle of the stories was the old slang and analogies used in the descriptions and wisecracks -- "She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket" "She had eyes like strange sins" "women who should be young but have faces like stale beer" -- it gave a whole other aspect to the stories that was somehow exotic and old fashioned while still being familiar and edgy.
THE BIG SLEEP
Originally published in 1939, 155 pages long. If you've seen the classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart then you will be very familiar with this story, the movie closely follows the book. For my tastes this one comes across as a little too much of a good thing, as though the author were showing off, trying to stuff as many twists and turns as he could get into the plot while simultaneously trying to elevate it to a higher quality literature than the pulp novel standards of the time. I'm not knocking pulp novels - I'm saying I got the impression that perhaps Chandler was slightly embarrassed to be writing "just pulp" or was interested in doing something more with it than what had been done previously and, as a result, he pulled out all the stops and threw everything he had into this one whether it fit or not. There is a lot of style that overrides the substance of the overall story.
FAREWELL, MY LOVELY
Originally published in 1940, 190 pages long. This one is probably my least favorite of the four novels in this collection. I found the plot a little hard to follow and with less of the flair (which I just criticized above) of The Big Sleep it came across as a lesser effort on Chandler's part. As if he were still refining his style and this was a combination of his earliest style and the later style he would settle into (at least as far as the next two novels go). Not bad but not as good as the others.
THE HIGH WINDOW
Originally published in 1942, 165 pages long. A good basic crime novel that still has all the wisecracking and plot twists but the style has settled down a little so that there is an equal amount of substance to go along with it.
THE LADY IN THE LAKE
Originally published in 1943, 172 pages long. I think this was my favorite of the collection. One of the things I found most interesting about this novel was the occasional references to the ongoing war (World War II), it never focused too much on the war itself but there was always the understanding that it was going on and these people were living their lives in spite of it. There was no false patriotism or over-dramatic propaganda, these weren't those kind of people, they were probably not out collecting for the Red Cross or doing volunteer work, that wasn't the world they lived in.
All these novels have aspects that would later become the standards of the genre so it's hard to judge them as the originators that they were at the time they were initially written. If you're a fan of crime fiction then you probably won't be disappointed with these, although they are a little less explicit than contemporary works they are still edgy... or should I say hard-boiled?
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Read information about the authorRaymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.
In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.
Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Chandler's Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, are considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective," both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.
Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".