For the last year and a bit, I’ve been acting as if I know a thing or two about crime fiction. Well, I have a shocking confession to make. To date, I have never read any Raymond Chandler novels. Not-a-one. Which is why you’ll find no comments from me in this wonderful thread of posts over at Peter Rozovsky’s place.
I realise that this immediately discredits me in the eyes of many crime fiction fans. But please, bear with me, for I shall soon put this right. Thanks to Jayde Lynch at Penguin UK, I am now the proud owner of a fantastic hardback set of Chandler novels. Check out the official info:
Published in Hamish Hamilton hardback on 26th March 2009, each priced £12.99
The Big Sleep ∙ The Little Sister ∙ The Long Good-Bye ∙ The Lady in the Lake ∙ Farewell, My Lovely
‘Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the first sentence’ Daily Telegraph
‘One of the greatest crime writers, who set the standards others still try to attain’ Sunday Times
The five titles in this 2009 series are being reissued with original Hamish Hamilton early edition covers to commemorate fifty years since Raymond Chandler’s death. The series also celebrates the seventy years that Hamish Hamilton have been publishing Raymond Chandler, whose work continues to be read widely and to influence writers within and beyond the crime genre.
Raymond Thornton Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888, but moved to England with his family when he was twelve, where he attended Dulwich College, alma mater to some of the twentieth century’s most renowned writers. Returning to America in 1912, he settled in California, worked in a number of jobs, and later married. It was during the Depression era that he seriously turned his hand to writing and his first published story appeared in the pulp magazine Black Mask in 1933, followed six years later, when he was fifty, by his first novel, The Big Sleep. Chandler died in 1959, having established himself as the finest crime writer in America.
So there you have it. My confession. I’m a part-qualified crime fiction fan. A fraud. Practically a literary deviant. But I’ve identified my key weakness, and now I’m moving towards a solution.
Soon, my education will be complete. Bring it on!