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Collected Stories

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  416 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

The only complete edition of stories by the undisputed master of detective literature, collected here for the first time in one volume, including some stories that have been unavailable for decades.

When Raymond Chandler turned to writing at the age of forty-five, he began by publishing stories in pulp magazines such as “Black Mask” before late
Hardcover, 1299 pages
Published October 15th 2002 by Everyman's Library (first published September 27th 2002)
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Everyman's Library 100 Essentials
91st out of 101 books — 107 voters
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AoSHQ Horde Recommended - Fiction
157th out of 237 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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It is said that Chandler himself said that he cannibalised his short stories to write [some of] his novels. With this in mind, and having just recently read all seven of his [completed] novels back-to-back, I thought it'd be interesting to see just what exactly was borrowed/lifted from the short stories, and to what extent.

Out of the 25 stories included here, and except for a few character name changes and minor plot thread adjustments to connect the different stories (re-)used, 2 (or 3) stories
Feb 19, 2012 Jeff rated it really liked it
This is more of an observation than a review. goes: Raymond Chandler is to the detective short story what Philip K. Dick is to the science fiction short story. They are both able to conjure up an entire world of people, places and characters within the confining walls of a short story.
M. Newman
Jan 16, 2011 M. Newman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, short-stories
Raymond Chandler is the master of noir fiction. This book is the only complete edition of his stories and is chock full of hard-boiled detective stories populated by cunning criminals, good cops, bad cops, sexy blondes and tough detectives, including the famous Philip Marlowe. These are just great stories of the L.A. underworld of the 1930's, '40's and 50's.
Jan 08, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
BLACKMAILERS DON’T SHOOT. (this ed. 2007). Raymond Chandler. ****.
This is a fairly comprehensive compilation of Chandler’s short stories. In this reprint from The Folio Society, they followed the edition from Everyman’s Library, entitled “Raymond Chandler: Collected Stories,” (2002). The tales originally appeared in a variety of publications, including “Black Mask,” “Dime Detective,” and “Saturday Evening Post.” They are arranged more or less chronologically, and the variation and progress in C
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
This mammoth tome occupied my bedside nightstand for several weeks, and I'd read a bit each night. It is an excellent collection of short stories, most take place in and around Los Angeles. Some are better than others, but there really isn't a bad one in the bunch. Interesting too, that one finds several short stories in here that Chandler revisited later and fleshed out as a couple of his Philip Marlowe novels. And having recently reread the Philip Marlowe novels, it was instructive to see how ...more
Khenan Bragador
Really good read, with some better than others. Red Wind, Nevada Gas, Try The Girl were among the ones i can remember (at least the title) with I'll Be Waiting probably my favourite. A fun mixture of characters too. I'm glad for his novels they all became marlowe, but it was nice to have several options for the shorts. Not completely sure how i feel about his cannibalizing. If i had read the shorts first i probably wouldn't like it, but i knew beforehand novels were cannibalized. It was interest ...more
Aug 10, 2016 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Spent the longest time reading this book. I love Raymond Chandler, but this book confirms that he felt more comfortable writing actual novels to short stories. I know this because he writes in one of his prologues. Many of the earlier stories are a bit of a tryout for longer versions to be done later on. In others, he tries to give a distinctive voice to his varied narrators. Some times he does this better than others. But as a whole, this collection is top notch because even a few good Chandler ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whatever you have to say about his plots, there is no short story writer more vivid than Chandler(at least at pulling you into a specific and detailed universe in just a few pages). It's heartbreaking to leave the characters when the stories are over.
Jun 30, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up in the library of the Princess cruise ship Island Princess. The stories are long, very long, but they're classic Chandler, and it was fun to read stories that creative the foundation for his novels and for his narrator/protagonist, Phillip Marlowe.
Nov 11, 2008 kabukigal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yummy, yummy, yummy! I'm ready to read it all over again --it's like eating scrumptious, dark chocolates!
Janet Mahlum
May 07, 2016 Janet Mahlum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's better than 4 stars, but I couldn't quite justify giving it 5. My big regret is it is a library book and I had to get all 13,000 pages and all 25 short stories read in such a short period of time. I would have enjoyed it more if I could have read it over a longer period of time. Generally speaking I don't like short stories because, well, they are short. I like big thick novels where you really get to meet the characters and fall in love with them. However, Chandler's way with words is so a ...more
Sep 23, 2015 J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
A neat collection that gathers up the stories left out of the Library of America edition. The omissions to that other book include the stories that Chandler "cannibalized" to write various novels, but they're still worth reading simply because they tend to end differently than the novels did and what Chandler changed from one version to the next is of interest. Fun highlights include "Professor Bingo's Snuff," "The Bronze Door," and "English Summer," none of which are detective stories per se, b ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One and a half stories in and I'm hooked. I've read that the early stories are not up to the later stuff and I suppose they are a bit more linier but the magic of the language and the description of scenes , people and action are very familiar. A thought - I think it's best to read the novels first - some later stories include plot points and scenes cannibalised for use in the novels and I think that might detract from their enjoyment. I haven't come to any of these passages yet but I imagine it ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Mitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
One of a handful of books I've bought more than once, and read many times, Collected Stories recently returned to my bedside table. The format is the main selling point here: the ability to dive into a Chandler world for 50 pages and then do it again the next day. A handful of the stories will seem familiar, which is because Chandler recycled certain plots or plot elements for his novels -- I'd recommend reading them first -- but the pleasures are no less visceral.
Jul 26, 2011 Charity rated it really liked it
While a fun collection of short stories, Chandler is much more adapt at writing in longer form. It was interesting to read the short story version of "The Lady In the Lake," it is not a Philip Marlowe story, Chandler did a lot of work changing this story up while keeping some of the structure of plot the same.
May 06, 2015 Paul marked it as in-limbo
Blackmailers Don't Shoot (3/5) - It wasn't boring but not that interesting either.
Smart-Aleck Kill (4/5) - I'll admit I found this one a bit hard to follow but once I got the story, it was pretty interesting.
The King in Yellow (4/5) - (view spoiler)
Jun 23, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The very definition of hard-boiled, this collection of short fiction is my first time reading any of Raymond Chandler's work. It's clear that Chandler was a very significant influence on Frank Miller's Sin City series of graphic novels and fans of the genre are better off for it.

Booze, broads and bullets indeed.
Nov 11, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardboiled
Having all of his short fiction, what is there to say about the contents?

As for the edition, I seems that, for a hardback, the pages are too small, which made it necessary for the publisher to bring it to 1200 pages. So what you have is a small, thick edition, which kind of makes it an awkward read.

The introduction is quite good, but not written by Chandler.
Dec 31, 2015 Linda is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
First story "Blackmailer's Don't Shoot". Read as this author was suggested in questions for discussion re: Shape of Water for book reading group. Not great for character development, lots of action and shooting/death. Set in old California - a little commentary about the time, but not a great deal yet. Not my favorite. Will need to read another story to see if they improve.
Jul 02, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just in case you noticed I've only read 17 books so far this year, keep in mind one of them was 3 full novels in one volume (Dashiell Hammett), and, in the case of Chandler's collected stories, the book in question was 1,299 tiny-print pages long. Plus ARCs and WIPs! I've read lots of ARCs and WIPs, many of which I can't list on GoodReads yet. (I feel better now.)
May 15, 2016 Kurt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although perhaps accurate to the time in which it is set, there is too much random killing, and EVERYONE is drinking way too much. I read probably 1/2 of the short stories and never found one that was engaging! Lots of deals under the table or off the radar, but I was never sure who was the good guy & who was the bad guy. I should have abandon it sooner!
Chris Witt
Aug 23, 2007 Chris Witt rated it liked it
Just picked this up. Really enjoyed reading Chandler on the train rides to/from work last winter. Don't know why, since the stories always seem to be set in southern Cal, but reading him during the winter felt like a good fit. Sort of like I can only listen to Van Halen during the summer. So I'll look forward to picking this up in 4-6 months, I'm guessing...
Chad Nevett
Jan 04, 2016 Chad Nevett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of these short stories in Trouble is My Business and The Simple Art of Murder, but since this is a collection of all of Chandler's stories, I'm also not in a big hurry to read them all. Better to just read one when the mood strikes me, don't you think?
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it it was amazing
A lot of these are very similar, and many were recycled into Chandler's amazing novels, but this collection is well worth the purchase. Just take a break every few stories to read something completely different.
Evan Hatcher
Apr 03, 2014 Evan Hatcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His stories develop from meat and potatoes pulp to hilarious and tragic dissertations on human experience, many times traversing the same subject matter and chewing it over with more humor, more pained love and hate and grit each time.
C Van
Jul 23, 2012 C Van rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seemed like a continuation of the same story, but I didn't mind 'cuz it was like witnessing a teleplay from the 1950's.
Oct 28, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After "Inherent Vice" I had to go back to the source material. This Chandler guy wasn't bad, was he?
Elizabeth Richards
Thanks, Angelina! I felt as if I were in a smoke filled room, martini in hand, black lace dress, Clark Gable across the room…
Dec 13, 2009 Takipsilim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as his more famous novels, but with this omnibus one can chart Chandler's ascent from budding Pulp author to the master of his craft.
Bryant Mcnamara
Stories are good but I find them a bit unclear at various points. Using everyone's last name gets old and kind of sounds a bit odd.
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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
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“I said: "Dead end - quiet, restful, like your town. I like a town like this." Marlowe (talking about Olympia) in a short story called Goldfish.” 5 likes
“The little one-story house was as neat as a fresh pinafore. The front lawn was cut lovingly and very green. The smooth composition driveway was free of grease spots from standing cars, and the hedge that bordered it looked as though the barber came every day.

The white door had a knocker with a tiger's head, a go-to-hell window and a dingus that let someone inside talk to someone outside without even opening the little window.

I'd have given a mortgage on my left leg to live in a house like that. I didn't think I ever would.

(The Pencil)”
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