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on 30 June 2017
Raymond Chandler breathes vivid life into Philip Marlowe through his evocative prose. A true page turner of a novel if ever there was one
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on 25 August 2017
Classic detective fiction to be enjoyed by today's readers
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on 15 May 2017
Excellent service - item as described - fast delivery - many thanks
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on 26 January 2017
Few modern readers know that Raymond Chandler spent his formative years (12-24) in England and returned to the US with a posh British accent. Also, according to Frank MacShane’s standard biography, that Chandler disliked California deeply wherever he and his wife lived-usually in furnished rooms-because of its lack of culture and the collusion between its politicians, law enforcement and criminals fronting as e.g. casino owners. And because old Britain recognized his unique crime novels as literature, long before critics in the US did.
All Chandler novels contain English idiom and values (chivalry, fairness, good manners). Here, he refers to a policeman as a ‘constable’. Marlowe’s repeated reply “I should imagine so” to a cop’s questions completely baffles the latter. The venue of chapter 17 is pure White’s in London, not the Athletic Club in LA. Otherwise, Raymond Chandler surely made a lasting impact on crime- and screenwriting with his language use, based on common West Coast speech of people belonging to different sections of society. Philip Marlowe in a voice entirely his own, informs the reader about his ongoing investigations. Finally, unlike most real and fictional private eyes of the era, Marlowe does not do divorce work.
Here, he is hired (at $25 pd plus expenses) to locate the whereabouts of his client’s wife, who walked out on him a month ago. No sign of life since. Marlowe proceeds to her last known abode, the couple’s lakeside cabin and soon after makes a horrible discovery (see title). Is she his client’s wife? Flawless and eventful classic with a great finish.
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on 20 November 2001
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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on 2 June 2016
"You should read this" "have you read this yet?" "when are you going to read this?" are just three of the occasions that my partner waved this book at me and suggested that I get my face in it. What a reward it was. Chandler's writing is elegantly lovely, his story exciting and unpredictable, and his characters are recognisably human. I enjoyed this very much. Marlowe is a fine everyman, his cynicism the weary result of a life lived as a humane optimist. His wit gives you a good laugh every few pages, and I certainly didn't work out how it was done. I intend to read the rest of the Marlowe novels as soon as I can. Recommended
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 14 December 2014
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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on 10 June 2017
But if you know Chandler's history, look out for references to "the lads". (And the whisky)
Just superb, superb.
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on 4 December 2007
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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on 25 May 2017
Great read as expected. Gritty and funny. Loved it
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