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Daylight Noir: Raymond Chandler's Imagined City [Paperback]

Catherine Corman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 40.99
Price: 37.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 July 2009
This is an evocative collection of photographs that draw inspiration from the writings of Raymond Chandler. Raymond Chandler was one of the world's best-loved crime writers, his unique narrative style and iconic characters - most notably the Private Detective Philip Marlowe - have had a profound influence upon a generation of writers. "Daylight Noir: Raymond Chandler's Imagined City" brings together a stunning collection of photographs portraying the ominous, forbidding locations in and around Los Angeles - from Malibu Pier to the Hollywood Sign, from Union Station to the Beverly Hills Hotel, and from MGM Studios to Musso & Frank's Grill - that formed the literary geography of Chandler's novels.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Edizioni Charta Srl (23 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8881587246
  • ISBN-13: 978-8881587247
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,596,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moody and inspiring 16 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift and had a hard time actually handing it over in the end. (Luckily, all the photos can be seen on the Catherine Corman's own website).
Each photo is paired up with a quote from a Raymond Chandler story. Together and as a body of work they create an eerie, beguiling and even magical atmosphere, a parallel weird-noir world superimposed on the real landmarks of Chandler's LA.
With strong yet awkward compositions, high-contrast black and white with lots of vignetting the photographs are LA, Chandler and Noir all blended together and then filtered through Corman's aesthetics. It produces a lonely, empty, silent and rather bland work which has to be taken as a whole - on their own the individual photographs aren't anything special. It might not please Chandler fans who already have their own visualation of the LA of Philip Marlowe and it might not please fans of urban photography who want more inspired photographs. Personally, I like it as a book and appreciate the mood it invokes. But I happen to enjoy empty, almost abstracted architechtural photography - I suspect this book may appear to appeal to a wider audience than it delivers for.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but no show stopper 2 Oct 2013
Even when you are familiar with the high cover prices of coffee-table books around art and photography topics, this one seems to have a hefty tag for a 126 page paperback that is eight inches square and totally monochrome.
Sure, black and white is appropriate to the subject matter and title and yet I never did overcome a slight feeling of disappointment.
Production, presentation and print standards are all high but still ... it left me feeling that there should be more.
Otherwise I agree with all that the earlier reviewer said, so perhaps I'm just out of touch with prices.
Footnote: It amuses me that, not so long ago, one could buy expensive tilting-front cameras to avoid converging verticals when picturing tall buildings. Ms Gorman didn't buy one and doesn't care!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No better than "Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles" 8 April 2010
By Lawrence D. Zeilinger - Published on Amazon.com
Sorry. This book which has the MSRP of $39.95 plus tax for a paperback (which you can now buy on Amazon for about 25% of that) is no bettter than the 1998 work referenced above. This kind of junk can be slap-dashed together with a few Phillip Marlowe books and modern boring black-and-white pictures of mainly downtown high-rises, is boring, just plain boring.
If you weren't there, you'll never know. If you want to let your imagination run wild into places that no longer exist, see "Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved" and my related review.
This one falls flat on its face. Where is the romance, the intrigue, the "real noir"? Not here.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Black and White of Chandler's Los Angeles 13 Oct 2009
By Sam Sattler - Published on Amazon.com
Raymond Chandler set his stories and novels in a Los Angeles that sometimes seemed to me to be part of an alternate universe. The city was still recognizable but something was always just a little off about it. Chandler created his striking version of Los Angeles so successfully, in fact, that it often seemed more real, if rather more odd and dangerous, to me than the real city streets of L.A.

I followed Chandler into his Los Angeles before I ever saw the real thing for myself and I was somewhat disappointed by what I saw when I finally got there. The two cities, real and imagined, just did not match up all that well for me. After having read Catherine Corman's photo-filled "Daylight Noir," I know for sure that the problem was entirely my own. "Daylight Noir" is filled with moody black and white photographs of many of the locations prominently featured in Chandler's work, photos as arresting as the images created by Chandler himself.

My problem was that I was looking at Los Angeles through modern eyes and in living color. Corman solves that problem by producing all of her photos in high contrast black and white, just as they might have been photographed in Chandler's heyday. The reader will note, too, that there are no people in any of the pictures, a tactic that further enhances the feeling of big city loneliness so common in Chandler's work. Catherine Corman has an artistic eye and her photographs reflect that artistry. They are shot from unusual angles, only rarely straight on, and yet have the look of pictures that could have been taken in the early decades of the last century.

Corman's photos tell me more about Los Angeles than any of those thousands of self-promoting, touristy, pictures I have seen over a lifetime. As a bonus, they also remind me why I love Raymond Chandler's work so much and they make me anxious to revisit his stories for the first time in a long while. "Daylight Noir" is the perfect companion piece to Raymond Chandler's mysteries and I plan to keep it near my Chandler collection so that I can refer to it the next time I crack open one of his hardboiled stories.

"Daylight Noir" should appeal equally to fans of photo collections and to fans of the remarkable work of Raymond Chandler.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful photos and excellent tribute to Chandler's noir Los Angeles 10 Oct 2009
By Chris Sahar - Published on Amazon.com
Catherine Corman's "Daylight Noir" photos of Los Angeles landmarks from
Raymond Chandler's novels capture the palpable unease that permeated the
landscape of LA during the Depression and WWII. As LA and the rest of the
country face the worst economic crises since WWII and a chronic state of low
level warfare in the Middle East, "Daylight Noir" uncannily speaks to our
times with its message that no illusion is kept without a price, and whether
we can afford this price remains to be seen.
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