I’m really pleased to say that A Mysterious Something In The Light has been short listed for the HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize. It’s run by The Biographer’s Club and sponsored by HW Fisher. The short listed titles are:
Ben Jonson: A Life by Ian Donaldson (OUP)
Amateurs in Eden by Joanna Hodgkin (Virago)
A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes by Louise Miller (Alma Books)
Winter King by Thomas Penn (Penguin)
Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W.T. Stead by W. Sydney Robinson (Robson Press)
A Mysterious Something in the Light: Raymond Chandler by Tom Williams (Aurum)
More information can be found here: The HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize.
For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to collect some shots of Chandler locations in Los Angeles, London and Paris. I am not the best photographer so you will have to bear with me.
Some are more famous than others – Ray’s office at the Bank of Italy building is less well known that the Deitrichson house from Double Indemnity – but I hope you find them interesting all the same. I don’t think anyone lese has taken a picture of Ray’s pension in Paris where he lived in 1905.
These are the pictures related to my research in Raymond Chandler
This review, by Adam Mars-Jones, has been published on the Guardian website. I’ve not read Gordon Bowker’s book yet but I have it and am looking forward to it. One of the things that struck me though about this review was Adam Mars-Jones comment:
The Cover From The Second Edition of The Simple Art of Murder, a collection of Chandler stories published by Houghton Mufflin in 1950 and prefaced by the essay.
Raymond Chandler’s essay The Simple Art of Murder is pretty much required reading for any Chandler fan and any aspiring crime writer. It is one of those essays that has earned a place in literary history for its title as much as its thesis. Appearing in The Atlantic Monthly in December 1944, it’s a serious examination of the genre and it reveals plenty about Ray and about how he approached writing so to my mind it is interesting in both a biographical sense and a literary one. Continue reading
Rather obsessively I keep an eye out for Chandler related stuff on the web and I came across his Atlantic article, Oscar Night in Hollywood. It was published in the March 1948 edition of the magazine and was one of several of Ray’s contributions. Do have a read. It may have been written in a fit of pique – you can tell early on – but that doesn’t make it any less interesting or, indeed, accurate.
This is just a quick post. As I mentioned here I’ve spent the weekend playing LA Noire which is probably the closest thing I am going to get to being Philip Marlowe in this life time. The guys at Rockstar Games have said that there are a few Chandler references in the game and I will post them here when I find them. Here, then, is the first I’ve spotted:
Location of Geiger's Book Store in LA Noire
Much to my girlfriend’s frustration, I love to play video games. Happy chance then that Rockstar Games and Team Bondi are about to release LA Noire, a game set in 1940s Los Angeles where you get to play an LAPD cop solving crimes throughout the city. Watch the trailer below, it’s pretty awesome:
Sadly, Natasha Spender passed away yesterday. She was a great friend of Ray’s and was a charming woman, full of great stories about him and about the many other interesting people she knew. Here is John Sutherland’s obituary of her. Her essay on Ray, His Own Long Goodbye, collected in The World Of Raymond Chandler, should be compulsory reading for Chandler fans.