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Trouble Is My Business

(Philip Marlowe #8)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  10,963 ratings  ·  358 reviews
In the four long stories in this collection, Marlowe is hired to protect a rich old guy from a gold digger, runs afoul of crooked politicos, gets a line on some stolen jewels with a reward attached, and stumbles across a murder victim who may have been an extortionist.

Trouble is my business --
Finger man --
Goldfish --
Red wind
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 12th 1988 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1939)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  10,963 ratings  ·  358 reviews


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Evgeny
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review updated on 29.05.2017

This is a collection of four short stories featuring Philip Marlowe, the cynical drinking PI who served a role model for all the PIs written after him - no exceptions.
Philip Marlowe

Trouble is my business. A rich man hired Marlowe to keep his good-for-nothing son from getting married to a woman whose sole interest in him was his money. This happens to be the first appearance of famous PI who is slightly rough around the edges and really likes to say the title phrase. Several dead bo
...more
Fiona MacDonald
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Yes yes yes! Not one, but four stories with Philip Marlowe at the lead. I think Raymond Chandler is superb; his descriptions have me drooling and in my opinion he's the original hard boiled, film noir detective. I love him and every move he makes. He's witty, dry, sarcastic and dangerous. I can picture myself walking the streets at night with him, slugging a bad guy with a gun and swigging scotch in the middle of the night in a stifling hot hotel room whilst hiding from a crook. He's just an awe ...more
C-shaw
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this after reading reviews by my Goodreads friend, author James Thane. These old potboiler detective stories are so good!
* * * * *
Ha ha ha! What a delightful little book. The plot is secondary to the dialogue of Philip Marlowe and the other hardboiled characters, to wit:

"I called him up from a phone booth. The voice that answered was fat. It wheezed softly, like the voice of a man who had just won a pie-eating contest."
"I moved around slowly, like a cat in a strange house. . ."
"The room
...more
Daren
This is a collection of 5 short stories from Raymond Chandler. It is identified as a part of the Philip Marlowe series, and other reviews identify the stories as all being about Marlowe. My copy however (1950 Penguin) contains a note which says "The stories in this volume first appeared in various magazines between 1933 and 1939..." and I suspect the characters names in my edition are the original, and have subsequently been republished as Marlowe.

Trouble is my Business (John Dalmas) 5/5

Red Wind
...more
Erik
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
To quote the man himself, Raymond Chandler’s stories are like alcohol, which is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second intimate, the third routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.

I’ve read enough that I’ve reached a point where reading Raymond Chandler is like returning to a neighborhood bar you’ve haunted every Friday for more years than is worth counting.

You don’t expect magic. You don’t expect excitement or novelty. In fact, it is the familiarity and routine that draw you
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Barney
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Vince
Feb 11, 2021 rated it liked it
I prefer Chandler's novels as opposed to this four story collection. The stories felt too ephemeral and I would forget about each of them five minutes after I read it. On the bright side Raymond Chandler's prose is crisp and on point as always. ...more
Jamie
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot of top notch story packed in these tasty little packages. Compared to Chandler's full length stories they're a bit short on Marlowe's sharply insightful and often somber self-reflections, but that's to be expected in a shorter format. Highly recommended for Chandler fans, but also a good place to start for those new to his masterful ministrations.

Trouble is My Business (4.0) - A few too many tenuous plot strands and twists made this more difficult to follow than it should have been
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Mizuki
Raymond Chandler and I don't always have a happy relationship when his novels are put into consideration. I DNF-ed more of his books than managed to finish them in the past. I have to admit Mr. Chandler had a terrific way with writing, his dialogues and his tone are always charming and witty, but his stories can always be a struggle to get through.

Now, with his short stories collection Trouble Is My Business mostly because these are all short stories so it takes Mr. Chandler's famous main charac
...more
Carla Remy
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Four Pulp magazine novellas. Only one, Red Wind, had I read before. My favorite here is Goldfish (though it does contain some bad fish abuse). The introduction, writing about pulp writing, was done by Chandler in 1950.
Jack Heath
4 Stars. "Trouble is My Business" is a collection of four novellas and novelettes, two each. It came out in 1950 and includes the title story, along with "The Finger Man," "Goldfish," and "Red Wind." I have reviewed them individually elsewhere. This is about the collection. Get ready for gambling, fast women, political corruption, theft, con artists, murder, and action galore in the under-belly of Los Angeles. Noir mystery and hard-boiled par excellence. The stories originally had other private ...more
Ubiquitousbastard
Of course I love this, it being a collection of four short stories which were later cannibalized for Chandler's novels, but I admit I wanted it to be longer. The Simple Art of Murder had more stories and a bit more variety, so I definitely prefer it to this, but still, this was a good selection of short stories. Almost nothing outside of Chandler's works makes me imagine scenes in my head so vividly, or to laugh out loud at the sarcasm. I pretty much was laughing every few minutes while reading ...more
Harold
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noir
Quintessential noir by one of the creators of the genre. Private eye Phillip Marlowe is the archetype of those that followed. This book is four (rather long) short stories. All excellent.
Rob
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

It took me a few years living in Georgia to realize just how much California is in my bones. I grew up a Midwesterner but then spent 14 crucial years – 1995-2009, or age 22 to 36 – on the West Coast. I never made a conscious decision to self-identify as a Californian, but after living in the Atlanta area for a couple years I suddenly realized just how much my time in California had shaped my personality. And now, even though I’ve been in the South for nearly six years, no author takes
...more
William
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my money, the first and lasts stories are best, the second and third only for Chandler purists. This is early Chandler, and rough in many places, but you can see him polishing parts of the stories and developing his unique style.

1. Trouble is My Business - 3.5 Stars

The first story starts off a bit roughly and overwritten, but even in this early effort we can see the Chandler-to-be. Marvellous.

The tall one was grinning. He had his hat low on his forehead and he had a wedge-shaped face that
...more
Debbi Mack
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is made up of four of Chandler's novellas or novelettes. They have most of the things I love about Raymond Chandler's novels: hardboiled prose to weep for, enough characters and twists to make your head spin, and nearly indecipherable plots.

The fact that I read all the stories and enjoyed them, despite their flaws or even because of them, is a testament to Chandler's legacy as one of the greatest hardboiled crime writers ever.
...more
Elise Stone
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jim
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the four stories in this volume all feature Philip Marlowe, he is not quite yet the Marlowe of the novels -- but he is almost there. Raymond Chandler's Trouble is my Business is set in Los Angeles, with the detective living in Hollywood near Franklin Avenue. Thye best story by far is "Red Wind," which perfectly conveys the madness of our dry Santa Ana winds, when the wind blows in from the desert and pushes the smog off to sea, from where it soon comes tumbling back when the wind direct ...more
Gavin Smith
This is a great little collection of four quick and punchy Marlowe stories. It's the second time I've read Trouble is My Business but a few years down the line I found that I hadn't really remembered anything so it still felt pretty fresh to me. None of the novellas here really rise to the heights of Chandler's best work, but then none are as confusingly plotted, either. There are enough dry one-liners to keep fans of Chandler's style entertained and I feel that, somehow, these four stories pres ...more
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
...more
Lynn
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Title story is definitely the best. The copy I read was in Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window and used the original pulp character names. Later updated/collected as Phillip Marlowe stories. ...more
David
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Christine
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can never resist the siren call of Raymond Chandler. In my opinion, his work defines the noir genre of mysteries. It just doesn't get any better. Trouble is My Business is a collection of four short stories - Trouble is My Business, Finger Man, Goldfish, and Red Wind - that are classic Chandler. Rife with 50s slang and the most stripped-down descriptions imaginable, each is a the literary equivalent of a shot of scotch. The kind that leaves you feeling like you've had a mouthful of campfire sm ...more
Cathy DuPont
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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
...more
Mackenzie Brown
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The undisputed master of noir and pulp fiction.
Of the four stories featured in this volume none are sub standard when compared to the novels featuring Chandler’s LA private eye Philip Marlow, who swims in a cesspool of double crossing criminals, femme fatales and crooked cops. Filled with classic metaphorical phrases straight from the hard boiled crime dictionary that Chandler helped create.
If you’re a fan of John D MacDonald, Ross Macdonald, Robert B Parker or Robert Crais, or any other writers
...more
Roberta
Aah, the hard-boiled detective novel! Maybe the original writer of said novels. Think Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon as that fits the bill perfectly.

This is a collection of four longer-than-average short stories. All of them complete and with a unique cast of characters, other than Philip Marlowe and all bearing the same gritty, shadowed coloring. Part of it is the timeframe, part of it is the fact that Marlowe is a private eye and therefore deals in shady characters. All of it adds up to
...more
Scott
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Trouble is my Business contains 4 Phillip Marlowe stories previously published in the pulp magazines of the day.overall these are a fine example of Chandler's hard boiled fiction in novella form. each story is remarkable on their own but my personal favorite is “Red Wind”. this story is a nearly perfect representation of Marlowe's code of honor, has great characters,and a fantastic little twist at the end. a lot of quality buried in a unassuming little short story. ...more
Mike
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining collection of four long Philip Marlowe stories, all written before The Big Sleep. Lots of wisecracks, dumb cops, sinister goons. Marlowe is sapped unconscious so often it's suprising he doesn't have permanent brain damage. I loved it. ...more
Donna
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: criminal-minds
This is really a set of four Philip Marlowe "long stories." Absolutely incredible. I wish there were a couple dozen more. ...more
B Jones
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I presume these are earlier Marlowe stories. I notice a softer side to the private eye in these; he seems a bit vulnerable in places, even coming off straight up scared in one scene.
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3,933 followers
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

Other books in the series

Philip Marlowe (9 books)
  • The Big Sleep
  • Farewell, My Lovely
  • The High Window
  • The Lady in the Lake
  • The Little Sister
  • The Long Goodbye
  • Playback
  • Poodle Springs

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