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The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Non-fiction 1909-1959 Paperback – 6 Dec 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (6 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140279741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140279740
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,275,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and educated at Dulwich College in England. He was described by Evelyn Waugh as 'the best writer in America'. Tom Hiney was born in Birmingham in 1970. His book, RAYMOND CHANDLER: A BIOGRAPHY, was published in 1997.

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Chandler's papers start with his first creative output - poems and essays - written in London shortly before the outbreak of World War I. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rdrews on 23 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Most of the correspondence in this volume appeared in MacShane's 1981 "Selected Letters of...", but there are some nice additions, as well as Hiney's valuable commentary that accompanies the letters and puts them in context. The journalistic piece on the Academy Awards is good and shows Chandler's ambivalence about Hollywood, but the Lucky Luciano "interview" disappoints. All in all a good but not essential companion to the MacShane book.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Ross VINE VOICE on 26 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
raymond Chandler was a fascinating character...talented writer..alcoholic...loner..and, as would be expected..the letters he wrote during his chronic insomnia periods reveal much more about the personal predilcitions and attitudes of this solitary writer....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Repeat material 18 July 2001
By R. E. Starke - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was surprised that so much material from a previous collection ('Selected letters of Raymond Chandler', ed. McShane, 1981)is repeated in this book. Maybe I didn't do my homework, but I don't recall this fact being mentioned in promotions or reviews. When you're paying (as I did) [price] for a book, it's disappointing to keep coming across previously published letters. Chandler's writing is still great, but I'm sure he'd have something to say about this practice.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
So good it'll make a bishop kick in a stained glass window 28 Jun. 2001
By The Sanity Inspector - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What a fun collection this is! Another book of letters by another famous author I read recently was embarrassingly boring--it never should have been printed. But Chandler's style and pithy observations make this collection a treat. Though a loner and a lush, he maintained cordial relations with his colleagues, and his comments on the passing scene are keen. From acerbic observations on life in southern California, to wry descriptions of his cat's habits, to sometimes generous and sometimes acerbic appraisals of agents, publishers, and fellow writers, his prose is absolutely sparkling.
His coverage of Oscars night in the mid-Forties for The Atlantic magazine is a masterpiece of scorn for the glitterati. Around the same time he accurately dismisses the new medium of television's supposed threat to the book industry. People who tune in to watch "fourth-rate club fighters rub noses on the ropes are not losing any time from book reading." Just as frequently, Chandler comes across as thoughtful and a good friend--not at all Marlowe-ish, though you get the feeling he could be a tough guy if need be. If you read only one book of collected letters of a famous author this year, etc.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Intelligent, Hilarious, and Sometimes Sad 8 Aug. 2006
By Jeff Sherratt - Published on
Format: Paperback
Raymond Chandler wrote his letters, for the most part, late at night after a day of drinking. The letters provide an insight into the man who created the quintessential fictional PI, Philip Marlowe, and elevated what he called formula writing into a class of literature recognized by his contemporaries as art. The letters range from his laugh-out-loud take on science fiction--"Did you ever read what they call science fiction? It's a scream. It's written like this: I checked out K19 on Adabaran III, and stepped out through the crummaliote hatch..." to the sadness he experienced when his wife of more than thirty years passed away. I enthusiastically recommend this book. Even people who hadn't had the good fortune to read his classic mystery novels will be highly entertained.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Poet Laureate of the Loner 24 May 2001
By "joeccosta" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Chandler had probably never seen most of the people with whom he corresponded in his letters, but his opinions on everything from the plight of the writer in Hollywood to the merits of housecats are not only witty and memorable, but also indicate an extremely thoughtful man and first-rate analytical mind. The only problem I had with Hiney's editing is that a bit more could have been explained--although some of the context of each letter is provided, additional information would have been helpful. I believe I would have appreciated Chandler's observations even more had this been the case.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A real pleasure 19 Feb. 2010
By A reader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not just for Chandler fans (though anyone who's read Chandler is a fan). Not just for writers (though anyone who writes will be comforted and instructed). The book is a wonderfully keen (and occasionally cranky) observation of America in the 1940s and 50s, with buckshot at Hollywood, politics, crime, critics, corruption, literature and life. Curl up on a snowy weekend with this crackling American voice. Chandler is great company.

And if you're really into Chandler, try Frank McShane's biography of him.
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