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The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Non Fiction, 1909-1959

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"With his classic novels and stories featuring the hardboiled private detective Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler transformed the detective story and became one of the most iconic and imitated writers of the twentieth century. But despite the fame he attained through best-selling books such as The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, as well as the screenplay for such groundbrea "With his classic novels and stories featuring the hardboiled private detective Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler transformed the detective story and became one of the most iconic and imitated writers of the twentieth century. But despite the fame he attained through best-selling books such as The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, as well as the screenplay for such groundbreaking film noir as Double Indemnity, he remained an intensely private man throughout his life. As he lived a quiet existence darkened by his wife's recurring illnesses and his struggles with alcoholism, Chandler's letters were his sole connection to his friends, fans and publishers - and fellow writers from Ian Fleming to Somerset Maugham." "In The Raymond Chandler Papers, Chandler biographers Tom Hiney and Frank MacShane bring together a new selection of his correspondence - much of it never before made public - that reveals all aspects of his powerful personality, artistic sensibility, and broad intellectual curiosity."--BOOK JACKET.


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"With his classic novels and stories featuring the hardboiled private detective Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler transformed the detective story and became one of the most iconic and imitated writers of the twentieth century. But despite the fame he attained through best-selling books such as The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, as well as the screenplay for such groundbrea "With his classic novels and stories featuring the hardboiled private detective Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler transformed the detective story and became one of the most iconic and imitated writers of the twentieth century. But despite the fame he attained through best-selling books such as The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, as well as the screenplay for such groundbreaking film noir as Double Indemnity, he remained an intensely private man throughout his life. As he lived a quiet existence darkened by his wife's recurring illnesses and his struggles with alcoholism, Chandler's letters were his sole connection to his friends, fans and publishers - and fellow writers from Ian Fleming to Somerset Maugham." "In The Raymond Chandler Papers, Chandler biographers Tom Hiney and Frank MacShane bring together a new selection of his correspondence - much of it never before made public - that reveals all aspects of his powerful personality, artistic sensibility, and broad intellectual curiosity."--BOOK JACKET.

30 review for The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Non Fiction, 1909-1959

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    This was a wonderful collection of writing, mostly personal letters. Chandler had such a dry wit and was a self-described intellectual snob. He could also be incredibly humble and self-effacing. One can see which parts of him shine through in Marlowe. I loved reading his thoughts on language, American and British culture, the writing process, the publishing business, and his contemporaries--namely Hammet and Cain. The end of the book is kind of sad; Chandler's wife of 30 years had a protracted i This was a wonderful collection of writing, mostly personal letters. Chandler had such a dry wit and was a self-described intellectual snob. He could also be incredibly humble and self-effacing. One can see which parts of him shine through in Marlowe. I loved reading his thoughts on language, American and British culture, the writing process, the publishing business, and his contemporaries--namely Hammet and Cain. The end of the book is kind of sad; Chandler's wife of 30 years had a protracted illness and death, he attempts suicide. Although he seemed lost and terribly lonely late in life, you could see a glimmer of inspiration on the thought of writing another Marlowe novel in the last letters before his death. I'd recommend this to Chandler devotees, fans of hardboiled fiction--heck, fans of the English language.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Raffetto

    Chandler is antisocial, a curmudgeon, powerful, sensitive, entertaining, and these personality traits are abundent in his letters, nonfiction, and personal relationships. What stood out most to me is Chandler's intelligence and high integrity when he engaged with and stood up to studios, publishers, writers, and everyone else. These high standards, I believe, sometimes led to his loneliness, rootlessness, and drinking. I loved that he and I are on the same page concerning writing and writers, par Chandler is antisocial, a curmudgeon, powerful, sensitive, entertaining, and these personality traits are abundent in his letters, nonfiction, and personal relationships. What stood out most to me is Chandler's intelligence and high integrity when he engaged with and stood up to studios, publishers, writers, and everyone else. These high standards, I believe, sometimes led to his loneliness, rootlessness, and drinking. I loved that he and I are on the same page concerning writing and writers, particularly his respect for Orwell, Somerset Maugham, Fitzgerald, and Dashiell Hammett. Although, Chandler has plenty of criticism for everyone. This is an insightful and entertaining delve into a brilliant writer's mind.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Chandler had a gift for sarcasm and phrasing that I enjoy... But what a miserable guy he seems to have been.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Another reviewer says Chandler seems to have been a miserable guy - I think that's unfair but I can see where he would get that impression, because the letters (etc.) get more miserable towards the end. But that's natural isn't it? Friends are dying, your beloved wife suffers an extremely prolonged and ultimately fatal decline, and once that's over you're all but worn out - what's to like? These letters are mostly fun to read, because Chandler was a skilled writer - he dictated his letters to a d Another reviewer says Chandler seems to have been a miserable guy - I think that's unfair but I can see where he would get that impression, because the letters (etc.) get more miserable towards the end. But that's natural isn't it? Friends are dying, your beloved wife suffers an extremely prolonged and ultimately fatal decline, and once that's over you're all but worn out - what's to like? These letters are mostly fun to read, because Chandler was a skilled writer - he dictated his letters to a dictaphone and had them typed up, and no doubt he was in part practising his craft in writing them, as well as engaging in friendships, which he generally seems to have found more enjoyable in correspondence form rather than in hanging out with the guys - and because, it being private correspondence, he wrote what he felt like writing, rather than sucking up or playing safe. Not that these are vicious writings, at all, just a normal mixed bag of perceptions, experiences, opinions, doubts, speculations, ideas - but they are of interest because they come from a great writer, if not necessarily a great thinker. It's not even that the thoughts are particularly profound, so much as it's a chance to see what kind of a person turned out those novels. It's striking that Chandler, though he never says so, felt he shared the values and even in a way the tragic destiny and perhaps some of the character of Marlowe, which you could sum up as a man of honour and wit trying to keep both alive in a pitifully corrupt and tawdry world. He would have loved the 21st century...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    Well he was a terrible snob but he knew how to write, which is more than you can say for most.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Kelly

    Amazing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julio Hector

    Intento aplicar que lo estoy leyendo, pero tristemente no lo consigo., Con respecto a las cartas de Raymond solo puedo decir que es ingenioso, transgresor y tan sencible como insensible y adorna cada palabra con una picante y dulce ironía.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brent Legault

    I don't how he managed to drink so much and remain clear-headed enough to write these cared-for and insight-heavy letters. I don't know how, but it doesn't matter. They exist and that's enough for me. Here's a thing he wrote that I thought stood out among an outstanding collection of literary wisdom and aphorism: . . .it doesn't matter a damn what a novel is about, that the only fiction of any moment in any age is that which does magic with words, and the the subject matter is merley the springbo I don't how he managed to drink so much and remain clear-headed enough to write these cared-for and insight-heavy letters. I don't know how, but it doesn't matter. They exist and that's enough for me. Here's a thing he wrote that I thought stood out among an outstanding collection of literary wisdom and aphorism: . . .it doesn't matter a damn what a novel is about, that the only fiction of any moment in any age is that which does magic with words, and the the subject matter is merley the springboard for the writer's imagination.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Maybe I should have given this 5 stars, but I was a little disappointed by how many of the letters in this volume were also in Raymond Chandler Speaking. It's been a while since I read The Collected Letters but I think there's also some overlap with that. A bit of a let down since the book doesn't include more of Chandler's essays, especially The Simple Art of Murder. But there's great writing throughout and I'm glad I read it. Maybe I should have given this 5 stars, but I was a little disappointed by how many of the letters in this volume were also in Raymond Chandler Speaking. It's been a while since I read The Collected Letters but I think there's also some overlap with that. A bit of a let down since the book doesn't include more of Chandler's essays, especially The Simple Art of Murder. But there's great writing throughout and I'm glad I read it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    A decent selection of Chandler's letters, with occasional prose interspersed. Not much else to say, really. This is essentially the earlier MacShane selection, but mercifully better curated/selected. If you've already looked through the MacShane, there's nothing (really) new here. Chandler goes on and on about cats and books. A decent selection of Chandler's letters, with occasional prose interspersed. Not much else to say, really. This is essentially the earlier MacShane selection, but mercifully better curated/selected. If you've already looked through the MacShane, there's nothing (really) new here. Chandler goes on and on about cats and books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Norman Isaacson

    Dissatisfaction seemed to be a major element of his life. Maybe it was due to his classic European education and how that background hit hard against the American way of life or the American system. His observations about this country were extremely perceptive, but they were no more than a tiny wave in an ocean of difference.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Clinch

    Chandler made me fall in love with Los Angeles, with detective noir and - ultimately - with his heart. When he writes about the death of his wife, I cried as if hearing about the death of someone I actually knew. THAT is the level of mastery that every writer should aspire to reach.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fraterno Dracon Saccis

    Una de las mejores lecturas que tenido este año.

  14. 5 out of 5

    kaveh kavian pour

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Baldwin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sonny Luca

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  18. 4 out of 5

    James

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ivan K. Wu

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stewart O'nan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Volumetrico

  23. 5 out of 5

    Derek

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  25. 4 out of 5

    Oleg Axolotl

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kambiz Moradi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Luis Drai

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Circuitos

  30. 5 out of 5

    Evitcelfer

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