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This collection by crime fiction master Raymond Chandler features four long stories in which private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to protect a rich old guy from a gold digger, runs afoul of crooked politicos, gets a line on some stolen jewels with a reward attached, and stumbles across a murder victim who may have been an extortionist.
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5 Terrific Chandler Stories!
Scott Brick doesn't embody Marlowe for me the way the Ray Porter totally did, but he's a reliably excellent narrator and still does a great job. I hope he eventually records all of Chandler's short stories for Audible as well as the novels that are already scheduled.
All of the stories in this collection are very good ones, and for the most part they're ones that Chandler didn't later "cannibalize" in creating his novels, so they won't feel overly familiar if you've read all of those. These will be original Marlowe adventures to you. But one stands out above the rest: "Red Wind." I honestly think it might be the best thing Chandler ever wrote, even when put up against powerful novels like THE LONG GOODBYE. It's at once a classic Marlowe case, complexly plotted and packing as many seemingly separate threads for the detective to string together as one of the novels... and a just a great piece of literature. (There's also a great essay by Chandler included in this collection about placing the detective story within "literature.") It's a powerful meditation on lost love, the power of memory, the deception of nostalgia, and self-delusion. And the theme is as effectively and emotionally packed into the short story format as any of Fitzgerald's best short stories. But all five stories and the essay are excellent!
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- Amazon Customer
Great narration and great stories
Of the hard boiled mystery writers Chandler is far and away the best. This collection of stories include set pieces that will later appear in some of his full novels. The narration is excellent and all in all I rate it at 5 stars.