Author of the Week, March 6, 2023
(Novelist and Screenwriter, Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction)
“In writing a novel, when in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.”
“Any man who can write a page of living prose adds something to our life, and the man who can, as I can, is surely the last to resent someone who can do it even better. An artist cannot deny art, nor would he want to.”
“The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time.”
“The perfect detective story cannot be written. The type of mind which can evolve the perfect problem is not the type of mind that can produce the artistic job of writing.”
“I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.” The Big Sleep.
“Breeze looked at me very steadily. Then he sighed. Then he picked the glass up and tasted it and sighed again shook his head sideways with a half smile; the way a man does when you give him a drink and he needs it very badly and it is just right and the first swallow is like a peek into a cleaner, sunnier, brighter world.” The Lady in the Lake.
Good plots. Great scenes. Memorable characters. A unique voice and a classic distinctive style of writing. Everybody loves Chandler; his stories are still read today. He published his first novel at age 50.
Raymond Chandler (1888 – 1959), an American author is considered a pioneer for hard-boiled crime stories. His novels include The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, Farewell, My Lovely, The Lady in the Lake, countless short stories.
Bogart and Bacall. Who doesn’t love that couple drenched in mystery.
Great screenwriting, too: Strangers on a Train, an Alfred Hitchcock classic. Marlowe, based on The Little Sister, a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
Chandler wrote nonfiction as well: The Simple Art of Murder, Writers in Hollywood, Critical Notes.
Visit Chandler’s Amazon page:
Collection of Short Stories
[I will note that I’ve had a fascination with Chandler’s crime fiction for years, so much that Chandler appeared in my novel Greylock associated with the main character Alexei Georg, a classical pianist living in Boston. Alexei contemplates murder himself in the opening pages of Greylock, in Philip Marlowe style. Murder, a music phantom, and a romance-laced mystery.]
This is my favorite Philip Marlowe line:
“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.” Farewell, My Lovely.
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2 responses to “Author of the Week, Raymond Chandler, March 6”
The Big Sleep is my favorite. The style, the savvy talkers and the high intrigue are so entertaining.
My father read Chandler, though I’m not sure what he made of him, since English wasn’t his first language and American definitely wasn’t. But I’ve always loved him too. Ever since I saw the Big sleep as a rerun on TV and wanted to read the books…
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