Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Raymond Chandler Speaking” as Want to Read:
Raymond Chandler Speaking
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Raymond Chandler Speaking

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Tough-minded and typically idiosyncratic, here is Chandler on Chandler, the mystery novel, writing, Hollywood, TV, publishing, cats, and famous crimes. This skillfully edited selection of letters, articles, and notes also includes the short story "A Couple of Writers" and the first chapters of Chandler's last Philip Marlowe novel, The Poodle Springs Story, left unfinished ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published April 30th 1997 by University of California Press (first published 1962)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  165 ratings  ·  10 reviews

More filters
Sort order
I want to keep track of some quotes from the book here as I read it.


I'm always seeing little pieces by writers about how they don't ever wait for inspiration; they just sit down at their little desks every morning at eight, rain or shine, hangover and broken arm and all, and bang out their little stint. However blank their minds or dull their wits , no nonsense about inspiration from them. I offer them my admiration and take care to avoid their books.


1948 to Edward Weeks,
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book consists of letters of correspondence Chandler wrote to friends, publishers, other writers etc. If you're into his novels you'll probably like this, I did. He sounds friendlier and funnier than I somehow expected. Even when he delivers criticism he does it in an elegant manner, avoiding harsh dismissals directly. Lots of keen observations and off-the-cuff lines about cats, writing ( he seems very well read up on his contemporaries, and has praise and opinions about them). There is a do ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This collection consists mostly of letters written by Chandler to various people in his life, including his publisher, fellow writers, and fans. Also included are a story which was the basis for an unfinished novel, and another very dark short story which reads as if it was written by Raymond Carver's dad.

If you enjoy Chandler's turns of phrase in his novels, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. The book is compulsively readable, and intrinsically entertaining.

Here's a nice chunk of prose which is
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found this gem in a used book store. Lucky, lucky me!

Raymond Chandler, in his own words on a number of subjects; himself, his work, writing, agents, Hollywood, drinking, and more.

Gems are culled from his vast correspondence from roughly 1939 till the author's death.

Includes b/w photographs, a complete short story, 'A Couple of Writers', and the beginning of Chandler's final, unfinished Philip Marlowe-novel 'The Poodle Springs Story'.

If you are a fan of Chandler's work, this book is a treasure t
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was a hand-me-down from my father who said Chandler's letters are among the best (as are Cheever's and Chekhov's, he sez - I guess there's just something about names that start with Ch). I hate to say this, because Chandler is a lovable guy, but I found the book tedious, especially the gripes about Hollywood - though I'd give it another try someday. The letters in this book are cleverly organized by themes rather than in chronological order, and I did enjoy the chapters on cats and rea ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it
While definitely one for the fans this relatively slim tome gives a valuable and fascinating insight in the real life and day-to-day working technique of a man who, along with Dashiell Hammett, changed film and literature forever, and for the better, and whose witty, gritty, style reassured many a young aspiring hack trapped in the shadows of factories that what others call trash can be, with passion, shaped into treasure.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Whatever his other issues, Chandler's gift with a wry phrase made him an icon of American literature. Reading an entire book written in his voice - a collection of his letters - is a treat. My only complaint is that the collection was edited to remove certain slurs and slanders in some of the letters. I wanted the raw, uncut, unlikable alcoholic without censorship. If you read other biographies of him, you can pick up some of the missing pieces.
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of wonderful quotes here. Chandler is at his least convincing when attempting to demonstrate his fine-tuned mastery of underworld argot (why is it that guys who breathe freedom into a field always end up tying it up with even bigger chains?'s just like Hopkins with all of his Sprung Rhythm hokum).
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: raymond-chandler
This book was awesome. It was fun getting inside Chandler's mind. Funny how things don't seem to have changed terribly since his days.
Ryan Garns
rated it really liked it
May 21, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Oct 07, 2012
Simon Morgan
rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2013
rated it liked it
May 15, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Aug 21, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2014
Bradley Schenck
rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2011
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2018
James Johnson
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2009
Khenan Bragador
rated it it was amazing
Nov 28, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2009
rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2009
Hank Bruton
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2013
A Jonsson
rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2015
Paul Wilner
rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Raymond Chandler: A Biography
  • Raymond Chandler: A Mysterious Something in the Light: A New Biography
  • O Ye Jigs and Juleps!
  • Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
  • The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume Two, 1912-1922
  • Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life
  • Walking a Literary Labyrinth
  • Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini
  • Hamlet: Poem Unlimited
  • The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator, Including Newly Discovered Case Notes
  • The Big Knockover: Selected Stories and Short Novels
  • Double Indemnity: The Complete Screenplay
  • Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? An Autobiography
  • Bloody Murder: From the Detective Story to the Crime Novel
  • Portraits and Observations: The Essays of Truman Capote
  • Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac
  • Works of W. Somerset Maugham
  • Syekh Siti Jenar: Pergumulan Islam-Jawa
See similar books…
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
“It is pretty obvious that the debasement of the human mind caused by a constant flow of fraudulent advertising is no trivial thing. There is more than one way to conquer a country.” 10 likes
“The private detective of fiction is a fantastic creation who acts and speaks like a real man. He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective."

(Letter, April 19, 1951)”
More quotes…