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Trouble Is My Business (Philip Marlowe 0.5)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  7,181 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Raymond Chandler is a master." --"The New York Times"
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""[Chandler] wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered." --"The New Yorker
""Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious." --Robert B. Parker, "The New York Times Book Review
""Philip Marlowe remains the quintessential urban
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Published June 11th 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published 1950)
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Evgeny
This is a collection of four short stories featuring Philip Marlowe, the cynical drinking PI.

Trouble is my business. A rich man hires Marlowe to keep his good-for-nothing son from getting married to a woman whose sole interest in him is his money. This happens to be the first appearance of famous PI who is slightly rough around the edges and really likes the say the title phrase. Several dead bodies, corrupt policemen, organized crime bossed and their thugs keep things from getting slowing down.
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Barney
I think a review of the book would be pointless. Just know that this is one of the true headwaters of the River Noir.

Anyone who reads Chandler would be well served to get a copy containing Chandler's own introduction (written around 1950) where he looks back at the pulps - which he refers to in the past tense even though they had about 10 more years left in them fighting for rack space -and discusses the transformation of the genre from the mostly British in style iterations to the fully Ameri
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matt
chosen as extra credit for class. I wanted to continue reading Chandler, might even become a completest!

I think these are some of the earlier stories which Chandler sort of made his name with before he came out with the limpid and inexhaustible "Big Sleep"...they are all Philip Marlowe stories and they sort of have that almost-there quality which you can see in some writer's early work...they have a style, a vision, but it's not quite realized yet. For some reason I take a lot of solace in read
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Tony
TROUBLE IS MY BUSINESS. (various; this ed. 2006). Raymond Chandler. ****.
This is a collection of twelve short stories by Chandler that had previously been published in either “Black Mask” or “Dime Detective” between 1936 and 1939. They all involve the adventures of various private eyes, not all of whom are Philip Marlowe. While researching his stories on the internet, I was surprised at how many of these stories later became incorporated in one form or another into his novels. While he was doing
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Elise M.
I read Raymond Chandler for the language. The way he uses words is akin to magic. The opening to his short story "Red Wind," which is found in this collection of four, is iconic in detective fiction:
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife an
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David
I've read a lot of parody of this genre without actually having read much of the genre itself. To tell the truth, I had fun. Things may not really change much for Marlowe in any of the stories, but there is a tangible thrill to reading. I'm not sure I'd go looking for any more, but I did like these stories.
Cathy DuPont
A collection of four short stories (which I love by the way) I just couldn't get into these except maybe one. This was due probably more my lack of concentration rather than the story or writing because Chandler's as good as ever. I shouldn't read when I have other stuff on my mind so I'm putting this aside to read again another time.

One story did stand out more than the other three but all in all, Chandler's at his noir best with the bad women being really bad and same with the men. They all s
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Erik Erickson
I really enjoyed this. It's really a treat to drink from THE source of classic detective pulp fiction. I haven't read Dashiel Hammett, but if he's as essential as Chandler claims in his forward, their work must be the pinnacle of the genre.

This is not my first detective novel. I took a circuitous route to Chandler starting with several of John Schwartzwelder's spoofs of the genre, and from there went to Jonathan Lethem's Gun, With Occasional Music and and an anonymous pulp tome. All are excelle
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Edgar
Had read Chandler in translations, but I see now they were very deficient. Marlowe's contemplative sarcasm and not-give-a-fuck-ness were lost. And that style is extremely important--is what makes these quintessentially noir stories not only genre-founding, but very fun to read. An extremely rare combination.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
Somehow I managed to not read this collection of Philip Marlowe short stories. I'm glad I finally have. While the last is a bit weak, all of them are fine examples of noir fiction and I quite enjoyed them.
Mark Birchall
Although not a lover of short stories I found these a must read as is anything by chandler. Private eyes , femme fatales, booze, guns, murder, mayhem,torture,fist fights, car chases,snappy dialogue . Can't beat it just read it ! Great hard boiled dirty noir from the best in the business .
James Falconi
Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled detective style of dialog and narrative / description can be a little overwrought and/or a little corny at worst. At best, it is full of fresh language that creates vivid images in the mind. Chandler doles out similes and metaphors like a PPA officer hoping to make some new friends in court as well as oodles of period slang. Also, there’s a lot of casual drinking in these stories. If you’re looking for a good book to pair with some whiskey, look no further. If you’r ...more
Adam Graham
Trouble is My Business collects four Philip Marlowe novellas written by Raymond Chandler. The stories were originally published in magazines such as the Black Mask with other detective heroes but were rewritten with Marlowe as the hero after the character became popular. However, other than that, the stories remained essentially the same. While Chandler thought he could improve on his Black Mask stories, he found that trying to do so destroyed them, so essentially we had the stories in their ori ...more
Jonathan Moore
“A sign jutting over the dirty sidewalk said: ‘Smoke Shop,’ and in small letters underneath, as if it hoped nobody was looking, ‘Pool’
I went in past a rack of gaudy magazines and a cigar showcase that had flies inside it...
...I sat on a stool and a hard-eyed bald-headed man behind the counter got up from a chair, wiped his hands on a thick grey apron, showed me a gold tooth.
‘A little rye,’ I said. ‘Know anybody that keeps goldfish?’
‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘No.’
He poured something behind the coun
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Simon
The edition I own of this anthology compiling Philip Marlowe's earliest adventures, a few being rewritten stories originally featuring his first incarnation John Dalmas, includes a foreword that Raymond Chandler wrote much later in which he reflects on his place in the crime genre's history and its state in general. Specifically, Chandler describes how he through Dashiell Hammett before him saw the potential for psychological depth, social criticism and examination of moral grey areas in a genre ...more
Mel
The collection of short stories that I read with the title, Trouble is my business included the title story, red wind, I'll be waiting, goldfish and guns at Cyrano's. The hero in Trouble is my business was definitely one of the harder Chandler heroes, less prone to drink and without the weaknesses of some of his others. He treats his employer with contempt and manages to sort his way through murder after murder. Red wind, saw the same protagonist, John Dalmas, but softer with a more lyrical firs ...more
Tim
My edition is twelve stories. The first eight stories do not involve Philip Marlowe, though characters and plots from the stories ended up in several Marlowe novels. They are full of alcohol and cigarettes, murder, guns, and betrayal. The last four were Marlowe stories and, if the first were good reads, the Marlowe stories are completely satisfying. Marlowe is just a bit tougher, a bit quicker with his tongue, a bit luckier with the ladies.

"You are not being impertinent, I hope."
"Hope is what
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Patrick O'Neil
Trouble Is My Business: four short stories, all pure Raymond Chandler. Unlike The Simple Art of Murder this collection feels right. Like an editor picked the best of Chandler's earlier work to showcase in this reissue. The stories are Philip Marlowe doing what he does best – stumbling through hard cases and somehow coming out scathed but alive. In one he even makes a buck or two – which is something that always drives me crazy, as Marlowe never seems to be able to collect a fee for all his hard ...more
Χρήστος Καψάλης
Ένας Raymond Chandler στα καλύτερά του. Trouble is my business. Η ιστορία γράφεται τον Αύγουστο του 1939 και δημοσιεύεται στο Dime Detective. Είναι το δεύτερο περιοδικό με το οποίο συνεργάζεται στενά ο Chandler μετά το Black Mask. Τον ίδιο χρόνο εκδίδεται το πρώτο του βιβλίο “The Big Sleep” και ο Ray κατακτά την αιωνιότητα.

Στο διήγημα όπως εκδόθηκε το 1939 ο ντετέκτιβ είναι ο Τζον Ντάλμας. Στην επανέκδοσή του το 1950 στη συλλογή “The simple act of murder”, πρωταγωνιστής είναι πια ο θρυλικός Φίλι
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J
Somehow I'd never read this collection of novellas, each of which features Chandler's greatest character, Philip Marlowe. Although some of them seem early (they might all be pre-The Big Sleep, the first Marlowe novel, for all I know), they are all extremely pleasant to read. You can see from these how Chandler re-used scenes, descriptions, and characters from his early work in his later stuff; the novella "Finger Man" has an extended casino sequence that was later re-worked for a key scene in Th ...more
Ann Koo
As a collection of four short stories involving Chandler's private eye, Philip Marlowe, each tale is like a pearl on a string. Not only are they beautifully succinct, sharp with the detail, and thick with intrigue - carried wonderfully by Marlowe's voice - but they flow into each other. Marlowe's adventures in each story has weight and names that do show up down the line. This is a brilliant move for four separate stories, as I found Marlowe's world-weariness palpable by the last one, "Red Wind. ...more
Leslie
Four stories plus a brief introduction by Chandler. The stories were all published in the '30s in the pulps, and this collection, with Chandler's introductory comments, originally came out in 1950. In "Trouble is My Business" Marlowe is hired by a rich creep to protect his useless adopted son/heir from a woman out to get her well-manicured hands on his money. "Finger Man" sees Marlowe hired to act as bodyguard to a friend expecting to score big at a gambling joint while also avoiding the vengean ...more
Pvw
A collection of five short stories. The hard-boiled detective in all those is not Chandler's usual hero Philip Marlowe, but a rather similar guy named John Dalmas. He is at least equally entertaining and the stories' pace gets you along very easily. I Bought this book for a mere two euros in a second hand bookshop and it has been my fatihful companion on many bus and train rides afterwards, often making me regret that I had already arrived.

The witty dialogue is like one would expect from the gen
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Brian
In "Trouble is my business," you'll meet the king of all private detectives: Philip Marlowe.
Marlowe is the avenging, hard-headed angel of justice, who never misses a wise crack or the opportunity to duck a revolver barrel.

Raymond Chandler is a master of thick description, painting the settings of these four "Long, short stories" with a patina of the street: Whether a dry heat that causes meek wives to caress the knife handle, or a fog hanging over the end of Puget Sound into which old, surly m
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David Mcangus

I wasn't planning on reading this book, as it seemed to consist of stories that Chandler worked on before his style culminated into the genius that is now known. But having read all of his Marlowe books earlier in the year and starting to miss the wise cracks, the simmering similes and the rest. I dug into Trouble is My Business with nothing more than a desire to reconnect with Marlowe for a short while. In this it delivers, albeit not as effectively as the novels but this should be expected. Du
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Quillracer
All four of the novellas in this collection pre-date the first Marlowe novel and it shows. They aren’t bad; they just lack the polish and that extra ‘something’ that made the novels outstanding. Even so, they are four great stories.

There is something almost lyrical about Chandler’s writing. His words flow smoothly off the page like good Scotch sliding down your throat, making what could have been run-of-the-mill stories and novels art. No one can turn a phrase like he did. Who else would describ
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Jillian
I read a very vintage penguin copy of this book that doesn't include Marlowe at all. I'd classify them as novellas, they're too long to be short stories. I imagine it would be too difficult to build up a satisfactory level of suspense in anything shorter. Considering these are so short, Chandler does a pretty good job. I suspect the first two stories in my copy were published in the wrong order, but it didn't detract too much, the plots are essentially self contained.
Stacy
As a long time fan of Raymond Chandler's edgier mysteries set in 1930's Los Angeles, I couldn't help but enjoy reading this collection of short stories - some featuring his famous character Phillip Marlowe and some with earlier detective characters that Chandler played with - likely prior to creating Marlowe. I think from a writer's standpoint this was particularly enjoyable as it was interesting to see how his writing started out and how it developed. It is clear from the beginning that he was ...more
Joe
Only a four star rating. This is not my favorite Chandler book, though one every Philip Marlowe completist really out to read. Newcomers to Chandler may want to start with his novels.

What makes this short story collection interesting is the evolution of both the character, Philip Marlowe, and of Chandler's own writng style. We begin with a hardboiled detective story that is far too heavy-handed with the hardboiled at the expense of the detecting, but end with something closer to the brisk, smarm
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Jamie
It's hard to review a book this original. Raymond Chandler essentially invented the hardboiled detective novel and since then his characters, his language, and his style have been so thoroughly subsumed into our culture that it is difficult, if not impossible to approach them with a fresh perspective. The influence of Chandler's writing is so pervasive that it is sometimes hard to see. In books, in movies, and in TV, in tribute as well as in parody, the cynical detective in his smoky office look ...more
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How Many Versions/Editions? 1 12 Oct 23, 2012 12:41PM  
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1377
Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.

In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In
...more
More about Raymond Chandler...
The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1) The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6) Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe #2) The Lady in the Lake The High Window

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“Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.” 19 likes
“Her eyes were wide-set and there was thinking room between them. Their color was lapis-lazuli blue and the color of her hair was dusky red, like a fire under control but still dangerous. She was too tall to be cute. She wore plenty of make-up in the right places and the cigarette she was poking at me had a built-on mouthpiece about three inches long. She didn't look hard, but she looked as if she had heard all the answers and remembered the ones she thought she might be able to use sometime.” 5 likes
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