Re: RARA-AVIS: revolt of the shorties

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 31 Dec 2002

Mat C wrote;

"And surely no-one's going to deny that Chandler was much better in shorts than he was in novels? Are they ... ?"

Actually, I'd deny that most strongly. As much as I like Chandler's shorts (I asked for and got The Collected Stories for Christmas, so I should soon be going through them yet again and not just for the second time on most), I think his writing really came together in the novels, when he had the space to really develop Marlowe's character. That's why I prefer novels to shorts in general. Most shorts don't have the space to develop both character and plot. Most mystery shorts highlight the latter. I read mysteries more for the former. With novels I get both.

That said, I would give little argument against your claim being applied to Hammett.


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