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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contents: Which Novels are in this book
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!
Published on 6 Jun. 2005 by Labrys

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marlowe, abridged
A BBC production of such a quintessentially American crime novel (even though the author Raymond Chandler has an upbringing about as English as they come) is going to stand or fall by whether you can convince yourself this is more than a bunch of British actors doing the darndest to sound American; for me it didn't quite work. In addition, being only a 2 CD production a...
Published on 26 Jun. 2011 by wabrit


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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contents: Which Novels are in this book, 6 Jun. 2005
This review is from: The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lady In The Lake: BBC Radio full cast recording - stylish radio production strikes just the right note., 27 July 2011
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Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 10 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific performances, 16 May 2011
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Mr. R. J. Clark "richardjclark" (London) - See all my reviews
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Check your shoes for gum!, 20 May 2011
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Mr. Stephen Redman (York England) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent example of Chandler's work, superbly performed and a joy to listen to, 20 Aug. 2012
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G. Wake "gregwake" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic American Whodunnit..., 16 May 2011
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M. J. Jacobs "michael jacobs" (Edgware, London, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you've seen any Bogarde thriller, you know the style. Chandler creates a classic crime story, complete with atmospherics. The story starts with the private detective in an office with a glass window in the door. Classic. Cliche, perhaps, but it's a cliche which Chandler created. By now, it's old hat, but when it was written, it was a change from the cliche of the big country house murder such as you'd find in Poirot or the like.

The story in this case moves around a lot, and you meet a lot of characters. It starts with a quest for a missing wife, but gets a lot more complicated as it goes. As you'd expect, Philip Marlowe follows a convoluted trail to see who is who, and why they have done what they've done.

The cast is excellent, and it is a full-cast production, staring Toby Stephens as Marlowe. The voices fit the roles very well, but you have to make allowances for the British interpretation of American accents. Better than 1970s English doing "Mid-Atlantic" American as in Duchess of Duke Street, but could be better. They seemed a little too American, if you see what I mean.

All in all, without spoiling the plot, it was fun to listen to in the car, but it started to get a bit hard to follow if you have to concentrate on the road! Like many mystery novels, some of the plot complications seemed to be there for the sake of complication rather than because they served a real purpose. Perhaps I am just being fussy. It's something I have noticed many times in thrillers. But as long as one can spot the red herrings, there is nothing wrong with that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A knowing noir, 23 Jun. 2011
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D. Salmon "domski1969" (London) - See all my reviews
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The Lady in the Lake isn't one of the best known or indeed best of Chandler's Marlowe stories, but it has plenty of the classic gumshoe elements. A femme fatale, red herrings, double crosses and at the centre one of THE great fictional detectives, Philip Marlowe. Sardonic, sarcastic, tough as nails, but depite a diamond hard facade Marlowe has a moral centre and a sense of right and wrong. He may not always follow the letter of the law, but is always on the side of justice. As handy with a gun as he is with a one-liner, pretty much every detective character written since owes some debt to his hard-boiled style.
Here, as in all great noir novels, he's asked to 'cherchez la femme', trying to track down a dame, the wife of a wealthy businessman, who is ten kinds of trouble.
His investigation quickly turns up a body, the only problem is, it isn't hers. Pretty soon some shadowy figures are on HIS trail as he tries to unravel a web of lies and deceit and work out who's on the level, and who ain't.
Classic film noir stuff, done with great pacing and a close fit to Chandler's novel. Toby Stephens plays Marlowe with obvious relish but steering clear of the parody that can come with such an archetype of a character.
All in all, a good tale, very well done, and one that will keep you guessing.
No hesitation recommending to anyone who likes crime fiction, and to fans of Chandler, Hammett and the whole detective noir genre, it's a must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marlowe, abridged, 26 Jun. 2011
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wabrit (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
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A BBC production of such a quintessentially American crime novel (even though the author Raymond Chandler has an upbringing about as English as they come) is going to stand or fall by whether you can convince yourself this is more than a bunch of British actors doing the darndest to sound American; for me it didn't quite work. In addition, being only a 2 CD production a lot of Chandler's evocative prose doesn't make the cut, which is really one of the chief pleasures of his work. So my recommendation would be to read the books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard boiled at Little Fawn Lake, 23 Jun. 2011
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Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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I read Chandler's near classic over fifty ago so it was a real pleasure to hear this Beeb audio edition. Not their first attempt though: the 1977 version had Ed bishop playing Marlowe. Over the years I was more familiar with the 1947 Hollywood noir version directed by and starry Robert Montgomery.

Being Hollywood the story was predictably and significantly changed to a more visual story format and it had a gimmick of making Marlowe's eyes replace the camera, so the only time you ever saw him was when he was near a mirror. Also Darace Kingsby was a magazine publisher with Adrienne Fromsett a senior editor and Chris Lavery was a southerner played by Richard Simmonds with a beautiful southern drawl.

Like another reviewer I thought the English American accents slightly Canadian but that in no way detracts from the excellent cast performance. The music and sound effects nicely didn't become more foreground than required. Stephen Wyatt's dramatisation, in cutting it down to a manageable ninety was perfect.

This is an audio version I'll certainly becoming back to though it is obviously second best to reading Chandler's well honed text.
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The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Lady in the Lake and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) by Raymond Chandler (Paperback - 7 Jun. 2001)
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