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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking hard boiled crime novel
Chandler has been over this ground before but The Lady in the Lake takes him out of the city and into rural mountains.The result is a contrast between his hero's city smart 'shamus'and the country cute lawman which is a sub-plot of its own that lends a pacy air to the main storyline.Marlowe is slicker and smarter than ever,but ,as usual ,makes errors which humanise and...
Published on 20 Nov. 2001

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2.0 out of 5 stars His name is on the cover
It is difficult to comprehend that this novel was written by the same author who wrote the first three Marlowe novels. It is equally difficult to comprehend that the character of Marlowe is the same person described in those earlier novels.

Marlowe's manner, actions and style of speech has suffered a volte-face. There are almost no wise-cracks. He has adopted...
Published on 24 Dec. 2011 by Officer Dibble


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking hard boiled crime novel, 20 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
Chandler has been over this ground before but The Lady in the Lake takes him out of the city and into rural mountains.The result is a contrast between his hero's city smart 'shamus'and the country cute lawman which is a sub-plot of its own that lends a pacy air to the main storyline.Marlowe is slicker and smarter than ever,but ,as usual ,makes errors which humanise and make the reader identify with him.We are shown the seedy side of the hustle lifestyle of '30s and 40's LA ,while silently respecting the humanity of the hero ,who speaks through the book in the first person. There are tough dames,weak rats and hard men side by side with the vulnerable and soft-all the characters are believable and Chandler portrays them in a way that makes them clear in the imagination.There are no tricks to the tale-the crime almost becomes secondary as the simple vices of people take controls of their lives .This is a great read,a hard boiled thriller which is as good as it gets and can be read over and over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb, 14 Dec. 2014
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Lady in the Lake (Paperback)
I have just re-read this for probably the 6th or 7th time, but I hadn't read it for at least a decade. It is still quite brilliant, and the pleasure of reading such a superbly written, engrossing and humane novel is undimmed by either familiarity or time. The plot is gripping and the first person narration is an absolute masterclass in how to do it.

I think Chandler was a truly great writer of English. Marlowe has the tough one-liners and smart comebacks, of course, but he also has wonderful, meditative passages on the human condition which you hardly notice as being meditative because they are so well done. Marlowe is, under the hard-boiled exterior, a moral and humane man with a deep understanding of people which enables him to get to the heart of things and it is this which makes Chandler's books stand out as fine novels as well as first-class detective stories.

The other aspect of Chandler's sheer brilliance is his characterization. Everyone, even the most minor of characters, is drawn convincingly and with immense skill. They generally seem to paint their own portraits through what they say and do rather than a lot of the laborious psychological theorising which can get so tiresome in lesser detective novels. For example, Jim Patton, the Constable (effectively sherrif) of a small mountain county is a creation of genius, I think.

Few people will need an endorsement from me to persuade them to read a Chandler novel, but I would recommend this very warmly indeed. Plot, place and characters are all brilliantly done: it is, quite simply, superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Chandler, 4 Dec. 2007
By 
S. Pollard "spollardo" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The consensus is The Lady in the Lake is not comparable to Chandler's "big three" (Big Sleep, Long Goodbye, Farewell My Lovely), but I found it just as satisfying.

Chandler's writing is oil slick. So easy, so intelligent, so very cool. As usual the characters are somehow subtle but eccentric all at once and the similes and descriptions are stylishly inventive. The plot doesn't weave and deceive as much as some of his other novels but this didn't detract from the story for me.

The Marlowe in TLITL is less hostile, less paranoid, less aggressive than in some of the other novels. This makes me like him more but some readers may prefer his younger, spikier self.

Still, like all the other Chandler-Marlowe novels, reading it is an exceptional way to pass the time. I can only imagine literary snobbery towards crime fiction is the reason why Chandler is not held up as one of the 20th century's greatest writers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good old-fashioned entertainment, 17 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Lady in the Lake (Paperback)
I picked up this book for no better reason than I came across it and decided to give it a try, being short of something to read at the time. I don't normally go for crime/mystery stories, but harbored fond memories of several Philip Marlowe films (always in black-and-white and starring Humphrey Bogart). I was also aware that he's considered one of the masters of the genre, and also that he could write better than most.
Chandler was known for his sharp dialogue and clever use of metaphor, though actually I found the wise-cracking one-liners a bit much at times. It can make the characters seem all rather similar if they all talk the same way. But this doesn't detract from a fast-paced drama with some great scenes, a neat twist, and an atmospheric feel of time and place. The intricate plot concerns the disappearance of two women and starts with a body in a lake, which is about all one can say without giving too much away. It includes the usual Chandler props of alcoholic tough guys and bungling cops, but it's a formula that works. An entertaining read, much better than watching TV (unless one of those old Bogart films happens to be playing).
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2.0 out of 5 stars His name is on the cover, 24 Dec. 2011
By 
Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
It is difficult to comprehend that this novel was written by the same author who wrote the first three Marlowe novels. It is equally difficult to comprehend that the character of Marlowe is the same person described in those earlier novels.

Marlowe's manner, actions and style of speech has suffered a volte-face. There are almost no wise-cracks. He has adopted the habit of talking about himself in the third person, 'I'm murder a day Marlowe'. Another example of this irritant also includes the newly-supine outlook, 'Marlowe may be a smart guy and very fond of you personally but he can't risk the suppression of evidence'.

The only memorable line was the description of Lavery as 'Six feet....of home-wrecker....all his brains in his face'. The rest of the writing was mundane to the point of anonymous.

If this had not carried the banner of Chandler's name, it would have bounced into the charity bag after thirty pages. As I struggled through to the end there was only one mystery to be solved; did Chandler actually write this?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in how to write a detective novel., 9 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Lady in the Lake (Paperback)
I am working my way through all the Chandler novels and this is another classic. Considering that it was written seventy odd years ago it has dated very little. Philip Marlowe remains one step ahead of the reader even when we think we are ahead of him. All the usual ingredients are there - being beaten up, finding a naked corpse, dangerous women, those wonderful similes and of course a twist at the end that no one foresaw, but the mixture each time is quite different and unpredictable. Like going back and listening to your vinyl records again, you find that some things have not been improved upon over the years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
John r smith
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classy page turner, 25 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
This as my first experience of Chandler on the page and I will certainly be back for more. Fantastic read!
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK But!, 17 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Had to read this as I'm teaching it at A level this year. Although i love crime fiction I'm not a fan of Chandler.
I found it predictable and had worked out the plot early on but maybe that's what some people like.
Won't be reading any more of his books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just crime fiction, 9 April 2002
A book that keeps the reader guessing. The plot is complex but flawlessly handled. The characters are realistic and well-drawn. The pace is fast, but subtly controlled. These factors make this book much more than the average detective fare that's served up by Chandler's imitators.
The descriptions and dialogue are characteristically astonishing and surprising. One character is described as having "a face like a gnawed bone", and there are plenty of other similes as good as that.
The dialogue is so well written that I found myself hearing the characters speak in their correct accent before Chandler specifically declares where they are from. He achieves this without recourse to writing in indecipherable dialect.
This book is very good, not maybe as outstanding as say, "The Long Goodbye", but it's better than most other detective fiction.
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