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The High Window (1942)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: Elliott Gould (Narrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,859515,096 (3.97)83
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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English (48)  Spanish (3)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
The laconic and principled private detective Philip Marlowe is hired for what appears to be a family related theft of a valuable coin. What he eventually uncovers is a convoluted murder and blackmail plot, also somewhat family related.

Raymond Chandler twisted words and phrases in a way that made them all his own. There are gems on almost every page. “I’m not tough,” Marlowe says to a woman. “Just virile.” He describes Los Angeles and its inhabitants in unique terms but his faces may be the best. There are “old men with faces like lost battles” and “women who should be young but have faces like stale beer,” and a man with “the sort of face that can turn from a polite simper to cold-blooded fury almost without moving a muscle.”

Chandler was an original. ( )
  Hagelstein | Feb 8, 2024 |
“From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away.”

Marlowe is hired to recover the Brasher Doubloon, an expensive rare coin that the owner believes was stolen by her daughter-in-law. Three murders plop into his investigation, both connected to the coin. “Marlowe practically knee-deep in dead men.” It's a good, fast-paced read and with Chandler you get the authentic noir vibe! I'm excited, and a bit sad, to be almost done with the series!

“A man leaning out of a high window. A long time ago.” ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2024 |
Noir fiction at its best. The first-person narrative of Marlowe is the big draw for me in reading Chandler. And, Chandler is no ordinary writer. He's a superb writer of dialogue, description, and story. A real artist of the written word.

"From thirty feet away, she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away, she looked like something made up to be seen thirty feet away." ( )
1 vote MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
Just read it again.

For an author, first person Point of View is a difficult voice to pull off well. Chandler is a master. Highly recommended and not just for the POV lesson, but a great plot, interesting, well-formed characters and of course Philip Marlowe. ( )
  Domenick.Venezia | Aug 20, 2023 |
Hmmmm -- better than 4 stars but I am not quite sure it should get the whole 5.

A wealthy widow wants some stolen property returned but for the thief not to be prosecuted because she is convinced that the theft was done by her daughter-in-law. The client & other people in this book are all unattractive in one way or another but what made me like this mystery so much is the way Chandler shows you what life is like for Marlowe running a one-man detective agency with some scruples. The plot is convoluted yet realistic (more realistic than the first 2 books in the series I think). ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chandler, Raymondprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gould, ElliottNarratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Billingham, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
HavankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kauffer, E. McKnightCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyytäjä, KaleviTranslatorsecondary 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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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

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