Re: RARA-AVIS: Blackmailers Don't Shoot

From: Marc Seals (
Date: 12 Mar 2004

Except "I'll Be Waiting" wasn't published in one of the pulps.... It was Chandler's one foray into the "slicks," appearing in the Saturday Evening Post (October 1939). Chandler apparently did not really like the story, saying in a 1957 letter that he wrote it under pressure from his agent. Chandler said, "[. . .] I didn't like it very much. It was too studied, too careful. I just don't take to that sort of writing. The story was all right, but I could have written it better in my own way, without trying to be smooth and polished, because that is not my talent. I'm an improviser, and perhaps at times an innovator."

Besides, this story came out seven months after THE BIG SLEEP, so he had already turned to the novel....

Still, I agree with MrT about the story. I think Chandler is a bit too harsh in judging it.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Mario Taboada"

> I actually prefer the early, unadorned Chandler. This
> particular story is a fine example of the quality pulp
> style of Hammett and Whitfield. An even finer example is
> "I'll be waiting". Not a lot of wisecracking, few and
> well-chosen similes, a tense and exciting piece of work.
> Even before Chandler turned to the novel, he was one of the
> best writers of pulp mystery shorts and novelettes.

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