Re: RARA-AVIS: The Chandler / Hammett Ellroy-inspired debate

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 21 Jun 2010

  • Next message: Patrick Kennedy: "Re: RARA-AVIS: The Chandler / Hammett Ellroy-inspired debate"

    --- In, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:
    > I take it, Patrick, that you have not yet read Judith Freeman's THE LONG EMBRACE: RAYMOND CHANDLER AND THE WOMEN HE LOVED. It's well researched and a serious eye-opener to how Chandler operated. He was very close friends with his book publishers and if they wanted something from him they could usually cajole him. He was very interested in making money from his novels. He made most of his money writing for movies, however, and with the studios who employed him he was very unreasonable and drunk most of the time. The studio would keep him drunk if he'd just keep writing. His early stories were inspired not so much by Hammett as by Erle Stanley Gardner whom Chandler admitted to out-and-out copying when he was teaching himself to write. Gardner often had Chandler and his wife come stay at his ranch.

    I am not surprised. Gardner was hugely successful (also very prolific). But even Chandler's earliest stories have a tightness and a pace that are not typical of Gardner. I love his stories, they are sometimes jewels of camp, but the other day, while reading one of his Ed Jenkins stories, the thought was: boy, was this guy crude! Chandler didn't crank out stories like that. In some of Gardner's stories you can actually see what happened: a third through it, Gardner realizes that the plotline is a dud and then proceeds to have a few coincidences to fix it. Great stuff, if you're in the mood for a good laugh and innocent fun.



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