Later Novels and Other Writings begins with The Lady in the Lake (1943). Written during the war, the story takes Marlowe out of the seamy L.A. streets to the deceptive tranquility of the surrounding mountains, as the search for a businessman's missing wife expands into an elegy of loneliness and loss. The darker tone typical of Chandler's later fiction is evident in The Little Sister (1949), in which an ambitious starlet, a blackmailer, and a seemingly naive young woman from Manhattan, Kansas, are the key players in a plot that provides fuel for a bitter indictment of Hollywood and Chandler's most savage portrayal of his adopted city. The Long Goodbye (1953), his most ambitious and self-revealing novel, uncovers a more anguished resonance in the Marlowe character, in a plot that hinges on the betrayal of friendship and the compromises of middle age. Playback (1958), written originally as a screenplay, is Chandler's seventh and last novel.
A special feature of this volume is Chandler's long-unavailable screenplay for the film noir classic Double Indemnity (1944), adapted from James M. Cain's novel. Supplementing the volume, and providing a more personal glimpse of Chandler's personality, are a selection of essays - including "The Simple Art of Murder," in which Chandler muses on his pulp roots and on the special qualities of his hero and style - and eleven letters that range wittily and often sardonically over the worlds of writing, publishing, and filmmaking.
Philip Marlowe joins the ranks of Captain Ahab, Huckleberry Finn, and Antonia as Raymond Chandler's work is added to the Library of America.
- Fiction + Literature Genres
- October 1, 1995
- October 1, 1995
- Raymond Chandler