Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler- Library of America

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 19 Jul 2000

Frank wrote:

"The LOA has it all in a good package."

Well, not exactly all. While it adds "Blackmailers Don't Shoot" to the stories collected in Simple Art of Murder (later split into 3), it does not contain the "cannibalized" stories from Killer in the Rain. Nor does it have his much later story "The Pencil."

Just one of his scripts is included, Double Indemnity (glad to have it), and not one of the original ones, Blue Dahlia or Payback (different from the novel).

I'm among those who feel more right reading Chandler in paperback (I first read him in the early '70s Ballantine PBs), but it usually takes me all of 2 sentences before I get lost in the writing and forget the format.

I generally prefer PBs for their convenience. They are easier to handle and single volume collections can be unwieldy. To me, the appeal of paperbacks is similar to that of CDs. Whether or not analog sound is actually "warmer," it was ultimately the convenience of CDs (along with some underhanded manipulation by the "record" companies) that rendered it the format of choice.

Still, I made sure to pick up the LOA Chandler collection (actually, I conned someone into giving it to me for my birthday) and I'm slowly working my way back through them. And I hadn't realized it, but the two LOA volumes are now more cost efficient than the Chandler trade paperbacks. Of course, you can still find him pretty easily as used paperbacks.


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