There is something about the prose of Raymond Chandler that I just absolutely love. His gritty, hardboiled brand of Los Angeles noir is pitch perfect and seamless in its ability to create unsentimental evocations of the shadowy streets of 1940’s Hollywood. Chandler’s stories have an effortless flow to them and are filled with an endless array of period-specific idioms, tough guy-catch phrases and infectious dialogue imbued with timeless black humor. Next to Samuel Beckett and Woody Allen, few writers have given us so many humorous one liners about the darkness of the human condition.
In his best work, readers will explore the lives of con artists, hardnosed cops, troubled damsels, various forms of organized crime, Hollywood starlets, and of course Chandler’s infamous protagonist, the caustic yet cool private investigator Philip Marlowe. Chandler is the most imitated and influential detective novelist of the twentieth century who along with Dashiell Hammett paved the literary road for the likes of Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly and many others who have followed.
Stories and novels, 1933-1942