Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy birthday, Raymond Chandler

It is the birthday of writer Raymond Chandler (1888), who created the iconic cynical detective Philip Marlowe, and was one of the founders of the hard-boiled detective novel genre. Chandler's Marlowe was a complex character, more than a typical tough guy. He was educated, enjoyed classical music and chess, spoke Spanish. He had few friends. Chandler only wrote seven novels that were published during his lifetime: The Big Sleep (1939), Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The High Window (1942), The Lady in the Lake (1943), The Little Sister (1949), The Long Goodbye (1953), Playback (1958). When he died in 1959, he had been working on an eighth novel (Poodle Springs (1989). Robert B. Parker finished it and it was published on Chandler's 100th birthday. Chandler also wrote nine short story collections and the screenplays for Double Indemnity (1944), And Now Tomorrow (1944), The Unseen (1945), The Blue Dahlia (1946), Strangers on a Train (1951) and Playback, which was rejected so Chandler reworked it as a novel. Eleven films were adapted from Chandler's writing.

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