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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard core academic collection of Chandler's short stories, 5 Dec 2008
Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Do you see Chandler as great literature, or just as an enjoyable read? Personally, I don't find the two mutually exclusive, but this weighty tome from Everyman with an introduction by Oxford emeritus Professor John Bayley (and husband to Iris Murdoch) does everything it possibly can to put it in the literature camp, rather than the fun to read.

I read all of the Philip Marlowe novels at least to some extent in the bath. The Penguin reprints are just right for that. This is something you can't do with the Collected Stories. Hardcover, with more than 1300 pages of beautifully printed fine paper, you wouldn't want to hold this up for long, and you wouldn't dare to get it wet. More to the point, Bayley's introduction takes Chandler as seriously as it is possible to take him, and is supported by an academic bibliography and a 12 page chronology. Mercifully, there is no index.

The other thing that marks this out as 'serious' rather than 'fun' is that, in the original stories, the character who becomes Marlowe either has no name, or has a different name. In subsequent republications (authorised by Chandler), they all become Marlowe. This book sticks to the original published version, so that the first one that is about Marlowe is Trouble is my business, 1,000 pages in.

There's no doubt in my mind that Chandler created great literature, and he did this in the awareness not only of Holmes and Spade, but also of TS Eliot and other literary figures. But my feeling is that this Everyman collection just takes a little bit too much of the fun out of it.

Nonetheless, Bayley's introduction is very insightful, and there is no other convenient way of acquiring all of the short stories.

Definitely one for the completists. If that's not you, then you might want to read the two Penguin collections, Killer in the Rain: "The Man Who Liked Dogs"; "The Curtain"; "Try the Girl"; "Mandarin's Jade"; "Bay City Blues"; "The Lady in the Lake"; "No Crime in the Mountains" and Trouble is My Business, which will give you most of the stories in a more compact form that also matches the current Penguin collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardboiled crime fiction at its best, 9 May 2012
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If you have never read a single story by Raymond Chandler then what have you been doing with your life, these are simply the best crime fiction stories ever written. They were orginally written for Pulp Fiction magazines such as "The Black Mask" during the 1930's and follow Chandlers advice to crime writers perfectly I.E. "if in doubt have a man enter the room with a machine gun".

This hard back edition is the first time that all of the short stories have been presented in a single volume and include such favourites as Red Wind, Goldfish, Blackmailers don't shoot, The king in yellow and Pearls are a nusiance. If there is one fault with this book it is that at over 1300 pages it is a little heavy to carry around with you when out and about.Once you have finished this volume I would advise all of his novels contained in the following volumes by the same publiserThe Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, Playback (Everyman's Library classics)The Big Sleep (Everyman's Library classics)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the book said used very good - but to me it looked brand new and pristine, 11 Nov 2013
Mr. P. Toni "Mr Sloan" (Wolverhampton) - See all my reviews
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the book itself is incredibly cheap for 1300 pages. it is a no brainer. why waste money buying lots of other collections, and then having to buy this anyway to get all the stories.
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Collected Stories (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics)
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