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Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
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Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  81 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Reissued for the 50th anniversary of the film of Chandler's novel, The Big Sleep, this evocative and elegant book juxtaposes excerpts of Chandler's tough, cynical prose with black-and-white photographs of the city he described as "no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness." 100 photos.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 2nd 1989 by The Overlook Press (first published October 19th 1987)
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Jan 25, 2010 Scott rated it it was ok
Shelves: contexts, 1980s, buildings
I guess I expected this big picture book to be loaded with photos from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the decades when Chandler's novels are set. Instead, Ward & Silver give us black-and-white photos of LA in the late 80s and expect us to imagine what these buildings looked like forty years before. Seeing Marlowe's 1930s office building with a Toyota Corolla parked out front is a little disconcerting. The book would have worked a lot better if the authors had gone to the library and churned up some ...more
Jackson Burnett
Sep 21, 2013 Jackson Burnett rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir, mystery, writing
A fine collection of quotes from Raymond Chandler's fiction and photographs of the places he wrote about or could have been writing about. Some annotation is provided.

The photographs are in black and white, and the book is rather succint, both of which are major detractions from the effort.

I think the book rates 3.5 stars and is thus rounded up to 4 stars.

This book well demonstrates what I discuss in my blog post "All the Great Places Aren't Taken."
Jun 07, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
Like others have said FOR THE LOVE PEOPLE THESE PHOTOS WERE SHOT IN THE 1970s/1980s!!

Having said that, some of these places in the 30 years since are gone, so I guess from a vantage point where we stand now we should be grateful for having some documented. For fans of Chandler who have never been to Los Angeles you can get a great feel for these locations.

I love Los Angeles with all my heart so this is a 3 star rather than 2.
Carla Remy
Not as good as I'd hoped. Mostly a collection of excerpts from Chandler's fiction paired with photos of L.A. taken in the 80s. I found it hilarious that the photo of Mann's (Chinese Theater) was taken when "Police Academy 2" was playing. I would have thought they'd include at least a few 40s photos.
Jul 13, 2007 Noiresque rated it really liked it
What a fantastic idea!

Raymond Chandler's novels basically feature L.A. as a character, with extended descriptions of various famous buildings, vistas, neighborhoods, etc. It's one of the things that make his novels such good reads.

The authors of this book decided to go and photograph, whenever possible, the real places that Chandler included in a thinly-disguised way in his books. Included are the relevant excerpts from the books, as well as nicely written discussions of relevant biographical d
Sep 15, 2013 Maggie rated it it was amazing

I enjoyed this photograph odyssey through the Los Angeles landscape that Raymond Chandler treated as another character. Looking at the pictures and accompanying passages inspires me to read, or re-read, this prolific author’s works.

Raymond Chandler’s lyrical prose is akin to poetry. My own writing is more to the point, so at times his skill with metaphors and similes wears me out … but not before I’ve succumbed again and again to enchantment.
Joe  Noir
Apr 23, 2013 Joe Noir rated it liked it
Gorgeous, evocative photography. In glorious black and white. Some photos (or changes to the landscape in them) are more recent than the words of Chandler that caption them, so they are not quite Chandler's L.A. All in all, I think the book succeeds, it does what it was meant to do.
Myrna Minkoff
Jul 28, 2008 Myrna Minkoff rated it it was amazing
I bought this book as a gift, but read it before I sent it. This is for those who declare Los Angeles to be a vacuous pit devoid of history, mystery, romance and meaning. FACE!
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Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S, R.D., is a freelance writer and nutrition consultant in the Boston area. She is the author or co-author of Healthy Foods, Healthy Kids; Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler. Ward writes for several publications, including Prevention, Men’s Fitness, Fit Pregnancy, American Baby, Boston Globe, ...more
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