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The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 7 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (7 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141186089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141186085
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Raymond Chandler grew up in Chicago and Dulwich. After moving back to the US in 1912 and fighting in the Canadian Army during World War, he settled in California and became a highly successful oil executive. His first novel, THE BIG SLEEP, was published when he was 51. He followed this with FAREWELL MY LOVELY (1940), THE HIGH WINDOW (1942) THE LADY IN THE LAKE (1943), THE LITTLE SISTER (1949) and THE LONG GOODBYE (1954) all of which featured the detective Philip Marlowe.

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The house was on Dresden Avenue in the Oak Knoll section of Pasadena, a big solid cool-looking house with burgundy brick walls, a terra-cotta tile roof, and a white stone trim. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Labrys on 6 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
According to the Penguin modern classics' website, this volume contains: The Lady in the Lake, The High Window and The Little Sister.
I hate it when I can't easily find this out on Amazon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 July 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed this book way back when as a teenager, I rather looked forward to this radio adaptation, and was not disappointed.

Often overshadowed by other Chandler's other Marlowe books (such as the Big Sleep and Farewell my Lovely) this is a decent tale of murder, mystery and sleaze seen through the eyes of private eye Philip Marlowe. Here he is hired to track down the missing wife of big shot Derace Kingsley. The plot is suitably intricate and fast paced as Marlowe soon finds himself up to his eyes in corpses and working very hard not join their number. The real joy of the book however is the fast paced, wise cracking, hard boiled dialogue with which Marlowe describes his investigation. If a radio production is to succeed it has to deliver these lines in a suitable fashion.

This British production succeeds very well for me. Toby Stevens is excellent as Marlowe, pulling off quite an authentic sounding accent. His delivery of the lines is just so, giving a good impression of the character, and pulling you along with his wit and charm. It's not long before you are really rooting for the character.

It's and excellent dramatisation, though at only 2 hours there have necessarily been some cuts and abridgements. These do not detract, and in general serve to keep the story flowing at a decent snappy pace. It really puts across the feel of the book, and is the next best thing to reading it. A perfect way to spend a couple of hours in the car.

The set containshour long episodes, each on a separate disc. Both are contained in a normal size fold out jewel case. Liner notes are limited to a brief biography of Chandler.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GeeJayBee on 10 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
Having only got around to reading the novels after many years of watching the films, these books are an absolute treat. The words and thoughts on the page just have more impact than when they are spoken. I found myself re-reading sentences over and over.
The language is just brilliant and I can only think of Elmore Leonard who is even in the same class when it comes to crime fiction. Despite being set 50+ years ago they seem very contemporary and not all all past their time.
I would recommend all this series and to read them in order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Clark VINE VOICE on 16 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kingsley's dame, Kristal, has gone walkabouts, and he hires Marlowe to find out where she's gotten to. Marlowe interviews the boyfriend and then heads upstate to the Kingsley's weekend place, where he finds a drunk and morose caretaker, and the body of a woman floating under the lake pier...

I hadn't read this Chandler, and was uncertain what to expect. The plot works well, with all the loose ends tied (if (literally) messily) by the closing of disc 2. This was a BBC radio dramatisation of the novel, with excellent acting. Toby Stephens is unrecognisable as Marlowe, with a convincing US accent (at least to these ears). The dialogue is snappy and in Chandler's style, and while there are a lot of women in this story, I only occasionally had to think about which dame was talking at which time. As always with Chandler, we follow the detection through Marlowe's eyes, so guessing whodunnit isn't really an option - we just enjoy the ride. And this one's a honey.

I'm certainly going to give more of the titles in this series a try on the basis of this recording!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Redman VINE VOICE on 20 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read fiction, it is set in the context of my imagination. When I listen to a book being read my imagination doesn't work as powerfully because the voice reading it isn't my own. This is why a dramatization like this one is so much more enjoyable, because the sensitive addition of sound effects and occasional music create a mood that acts on behalf of my own imagination and helps me create my own images.

This classic Raymond Chandler tale is dripping with atmosphere and Philip Marlowe comes alive so much that you will check your own shoes for gum! The dialogue is pacey and the accents are more than acceptable.

This 2 CD set is a great length for a long car journey, a regular commute or quiet evenings at home. Don't be surprised if your appetite is so stimulated that you find yourself skimming Amazon for a couple of Chandler books for desert!
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've always thought Chandler to be one of the great storytellers of his period and the, much maligned, genre he writes in to be one of the more entertaining regions of literature. Without giving anything away from the story there are numerous good twists and surprises contained in this audio book, though anyone used to Chandler either from the films or the other books, will be expecting just that. This is significantly darker in the content than the Hollywood films of the same genre from the mid-20th Century so do not buy this expecting a 1940s America version of Midsomer Murders.

I've not read the Lady in the Lake so I cannot comment on how close this audio book is to the printed text, but it sounded good to me with no obvious gaps or unexplained bits of story. I will be reading it soon! The private detective, Marlowe, is as unlike his near namesake town in Buckinghamshire as you could want. He gives a complex performance of appearing to not be concerned by anything while acting in a conscientious and considerate manner: his heart is hidden so far from his sleeve it's tempting to think, at times, that he must not have one. He dominates the action and the apparent inaction, moving from a Columbo-esq appearance of bumbling to a skill as honed as Sherlock Holmes in mere moments. He is among the best of detectives and is played brilliantly by the actor reading him.

There is an underlying darkness largely, but not entirely, covered over and hiddenby the rich American experience Chandler depicts in his books. It's almost worth listening just for the description of life Chandler so expertly provides us with. The depravity and evil screened by a picturesque setting or a fashionable outfit are matched by the descriptions of dives and deprived areas. Perhaps oddly society and order appear absent from the story, though it is filled with people; it's very much Marlowe against the world.
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