Tough-minded and typically idiosyncratic, here is Chandler on Chandler, the mystery novel, writing, Hollywood, TV, publishing, cats, and famous crimes. This skillfully edited selection of letters, articles, and notes also includes the short story "A Couple of Writers" and the first chapters of Chandler's last Philip Marlowe novel, The Poodle Springs Story, left unfinished at his death. Paul Skenazy has provided a new introduction for this edition as well as a new selected bibliography.
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The pieces in this collection show the creator of Phillip Marlowe to be a sensitive and thoughtful man, though someone who seemed to like nothing more than speaking his mind. Chandler kept up lively correspondences with friends and in his letters he comments with true candor on books, films, people, and the characters he created. In one priceless letter he berates a publisher over the cover of an edition of Farewell, My Lovely: "The bedspring shown in your cover illustration is entirely wrong, since it is a type of spring which is very light and would be useless as a weapon ..." And with that, he's only getting started. In excerpts from his notebooks he holds forth on writing, and one of the masters of the hardboiled mystery passes along much working knowledge of his craft. Chandler's essay "Writers In Hollywood," which first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1945, holds up wonderfully (though if published today it would require the addition of some zeros to the figures Chandler cites). Raymond Chandler Speaking is a small treasure house of lively thoughts and crisp prose.About the Author:
Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) was born in Chicago but raised in London, returning to the U.S. to live in California in 1919. His first story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot," was published in 1933 and The Big Sleep, his first novel, in 1939.Paul Skenazy is the author of The New Wild West: The Urban Mysteries of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler and he is Professor of American Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
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