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The High Window (1942)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,253364,763 (3.96)70
A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold coin worth a small fortune--the elements don't quite add up until Marlowe discovers evidence of murder, rape, blackmail, and the worst kind of human exploitation.@@"Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude."-- Erle Stanley Gardner@@"Raymond Chandler has given us a detective who is hard-boiled enough to be convincing . . . and that is no mean achievement." -- The New York Times… (more)

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» See also 70 mentions

English (33)  Spanish (3)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Chandler's a real pro. This feels like it tripped off the pen, like his kick from writing it is no less than ours from reading it. His great sense of timing isn't going to work out of context, so you are going to have to take my word for it.

Still...just this, in the middle of describing a character's face.

He had a long nose that would be into things.


I've read this sentence a hundred times now. Savoured it. Fantastic. The guy is sharp as when it comes to building pictures of people, of settings, of the world in which he lived. I wonder if he got into trouble in the witchhunts.

He is stylistically as timeless as Chekhov. I can't imagine in a hundred years he would have dated in any way.

I have no idea why on earth this wouldn't be considered literature with a big 'L'. Just none. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Chandler's a real pro. This feels like it tripped off the pen, like his kick from writing it is no less than ours from reading it. His great sense of timing isn't going to work out of context, so you are going to have to take my word for it.

Still...just this, in the middle of describing a character's face.

He had a long nose that would be into things.


I've read this sentence a hundred times now. Savoured it. Fantastic. The guy is sharp as when it comes to building pictures of people, of settings, of the world in which he lived. I wonder if he got into trouble in the witchhunts.

He is stylistically as timeless as Chekhov. I can't imagine in a hundred years he would have dated in any way.

I have no idea why on earth this wouldn't be considered literature with a big 'L'. Just none. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Every so often, I set aside time to read the great classics of the Mystery genre, and this week it is "The High Window" (1942). It was no surprise to me that this little book about a missing gold coin, an "ugly" and poisonous widow, mixed with murder, blackmail, and lies adds up to another terrific read with Raymond Chandler. Pull out your old, dusty copy, or visit the local public library, and settled back for a great read. ( )
  SmithfieldJones | Nov 8, 2019 |
I read this for a book club. The assignment was to read any Raymond Chandler novel - he only wrote 7. I hadn't heard of this one, so picked it. I liked the story. Marlowe was hired to find a stolen valuable coin supposedly stolen by the owner's daughter in law. The owner is rich, tough and not very cooperative. People die and Marlowe figures out the mystery and rescues a young woman working for the owner who had been convinced she killed the owner's husband. Interesting mystery.
  taurus27 | Oct 16, 2019 |
I'm not sure quite what it is about Raymond Chandler that makes him so awesome. On the surface, this is pretty much standard hard-boiled or noire detective fiction. But, Chandler's protagonist, Philip Marlowe, has a strong personality that grows on one. Yeah, he's rather flippant and even coarse, but he also had a decent side, something missing in much of noire fiction. Or perhaps it's as simple as the fact that when I was growing up, the only movies on TV were old things from the 30s and 40s, so I developed a taste for that period of time.

In this book, Marlowe is hired by a manipulative, domineering, rich-but-miserly, sherry-soaked, old widow, to track down her son's missing spouse. She alleges that the spouse fled with a very rare gold doubloon, one from her late husband's prize collection. She wants the doubloon back and the daughter-in-law divorced from her son with no alimony.

So Marlowe begins the hunt, finds himself being shadowed by a conspicuous young man, who is a would-be private eye himself, and obviously not a very good one. The young man wants to talk to Marlowe about joining forces on something undefined, but when Marlowe goes to talk to him some more, he finds the young man murdered in his own bathroom. Marlowe interviews a dealer in rare coins. He also ends up being murdered. And so forth. So, we have the stuff of hard-boiled fiction: bodies, guns, floozies (speaking of floozies, why are they all tall blonds? What's not to like about a dumpy brunette floozy?), smoking, hard drinking, double crossing, and such like (even an innocent girl from Kansas). But the characters are well drawn and the story is rather engaging.

I believe that this is the sixth Chandler book that I've read. Everyone of them has been a GoodRead indeed. ( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chandler, Raymondprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Billingham, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
HavankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kauffer, E. McKnightCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwartjes, RenéeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The house was on Dresden Avenue in the Oak Noll section of Pasadena, a big solid cool-looking house with burgundy brick walls, a terra cotta tile roof, and a white stone trim.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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