The High Window

Written by: Raymond Chandler

The High Window Book Cover
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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The High Window Reviews

Savvy
The quintessential urban private eye!...Philip Marlowe!

Raymond Chandler is a writer's writer... His prose sparkles, his narrative intrigues, and he's truly the master of hard boiled crime noir!

This was my first peek into the landscape of my native Los Angeles at a time (before I was born) when the air was clear and the roads were lined with a lushness long laid to rest.
Hollywood was smoldering with sexy fresh talent and glamour and deceit were de rigueur.

These were the novels that I saw at my G The quintessential urban private eye!...Philip Marlowe!

Raymond Chandler is a writer's writer... His prose sparkles, his narrative intrigues, and he's truly the master of hard boiled crime noir!

This was my first peek into the landscape of my native Los Angeles at a time (before I was born) when the air was clear and the roads were lined with a lushness long laid to rest.
Hollywood was smoldering with sexy fresh talent and glamour and deceit were de rigueur.

These were the novels that I saw at my Grandpa and Uncle's homes. They were part of the early glamour days of native Angelinos!

I've read that Chandler is one of the most imitated writers in literary history!

He possessed an unparalleled power as the witty wordsmith of crime novels....the descriptive prose is stunning!..."A check girl in peach-bloom Chinese pajamas came over to take my hat and disapprove of my clothes. She had eyes like strange sins." ...another chapter.... "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."

I had to laugh out loud at some of the magnificent metaphors and comical characters!
If I ever needed a P.I., Philip Marlowe would be my top pick! He calls it as he sees it and stings with quick sarcastic jabs,a keen eye, and penetrating powers of observation!

Read it...and step back in time when cynicism and corruption reigned supreme in the young West!

Chandler speaks a language that builds a bridge to the present.
Alan Taylor
The third of Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels, it's not just as good as The Big Sleep or Farewell My Lovely but it's still head and shoulders above 99% of crime fiction. If its predecessors had confusing plots, this one is essentially non-existent serving, as it does, to merely move Marlowe from one scene to another where he can philosophise and wisecrack. The High Window has too many bodies, too many coincidences and an archetypical McGuffin in the Brasher Doubloon. But, once again, it is the l The third of Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels, it's not just as good as The Big Sleep or Farewell My Lovely but it's still head and shoulders above 99% of crime fiction. If its predecessors had confusing plots, this one is essentially non-existent serving, as it does, to merely move Marlowe from one scene to another where he can philosophise and wisecrack. The High Window has too many bodies, too many coincidences and an archetypical McGuffin in the Brasher Doubloon. But, once again, it is the language that makes this special. Despite trying, Raymond Chandler's successors could never match his style, seemingly so effortless but always serving up just the right phrase. It's not perfect but it's still a classic....
Jessica
I'm not quite sure why I allowed this to moulder on my TBR for almost 6 years, seeing as Chandler's a favorite of mine. But I'm glad I dusted it off, because it reminds me way he captured my attention in the first place. This one in particular highlights the way Chandler just drops you in the midst of the story - the reader often clues in to what's happening a little behind Marlowe, but it's presented in a straightforward "you'll catch up" way that's the antithesis of the typical approach of the I'm not quite sure why I allowed this to moulder on my TBR for almost 6 years, seeing as Chandler's a favorite of mine. But I'm glad I dusted it off, because it reminds me way he captured my attention in the first place. This one in particular highlights the way Chandler just drops you in the midst of the story - the reader often clues in to what's happening a little behind Marlowe, but it's presented in a straightforward "you'll catch up" way that's the antithesis of the typical approach of the protagonist announcing he has a solution and then going off to race against time or gather the players.
Goldfish :: I Am Not Myself These Days :: Proof :: Ten Little Indians :: His Excellency: George Washington
Christopher Troy
Classic Chandler. Probably not my favorite among his novels that I have read thus far - The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely. But still, a very fine book with Chandler's signature wit, memorable characters and vivid evocation of Los Angeles in the 1940s. Very much worth a read.
Victor
4.5 stars...very good as usual with Chandler... Absolutely gripping and complex ...
Dave
Excellent Raymond Chandler, with a more thoughtful and considerate Marlowe and a plot that doesn't fly off the hinges. None of the secondary characters - not the cops, the clients, the doctors, or the gangsters - shade into cliche and posturing, and neither does Marlowe. This may not be what aficionados of the hard-boiled really love--there's hardly any fights or onscreen bloodshed. But I thought it was terrific. My favorite characters are the elevator operator and the lawn jockey.
Bill Telfer
Another Chandler masterpiece -- this one not as famous as some his other titles, but by no means inferior to the others in any way. In fact, this tale shows us brief and furtive glimpses into the "inner Phillip Marlowe" that may not be found in some of the other Marlowe stories. Read Raymond Chandler, for God's sake, read Raymond Chandler.
Adam Griffith
So far the best in the Philip Marlowe series.
Thomas
This was a really great read--fun and engaging.
Aki Umemoto
Not Chandler's best, but still a good read. It's full of vivid characters and details that have nothing to do with the plot but still fascinating. Again Chandler deals with sad people who are involved in nefarious situations, especially the dowager Mrs. Murdock. Chandler's use of metaphors and similes are not as good as in his previous books, (my favorite uses of these is in "The Little Sister") some fall a little flat and sometimes they make no sense. But a Chandler book is still a good book.
Sirbriang2
The High Window is similar to The Big Sleep in many ways: it stars Philip Marlowe, the client is wealthy and feeble, the client's family is awful, and the plot isn't nearly as good as the storytelling.

There are too many colorful characters that do too little to make this a true classic --- and the fact that this hasn't had a film adaptation in the last 60+ years attests to that --- but the story lets Marlowe be rude and clever to a number of characters, which is when he is at his best.

Is this The High Window is similar to The Big Sleep in many ways: it stars Philip Marlowe, the client is wealthy and feeble, the client's family is awful, and the plot isn't nearly as good as the storytelling.

There are too many colorful characters that do too little to make this a true classic --- and the fact that this hasn't had a film adaptation in the last 60+ years attests to that --- but the story lets Marlowe be rude and clever to a number of characters, which is when he is at his best.

Is this essential noir? No, but it's a good example of a great writer writing a fun (but not great) story.
Chuck Briggs
Raymond Chandler, although not the inventor of the private detective story, is the one who took it up into the stratosphere of high art. Great, three dimensional characters, some of the best, most idiomatic use of descriptive language in American Literature and atmosphere so thick you could slice it like bread and make a sandwich out of it.

Whoop. Writers should read Chandler in small doses, the way you read Harlan Ellison and H.P. Lovecraft. It’s too easy to slip into their powerful idiom.

I don Raymond Chandler, although not the inventor of the private detective story, is the one who took it up into the stratosphere of high art. Great, three dimensional characters, some of the best, most idiomatic use of descriptive language in American Literature and atmosphere so thick you could slice it like bread and make a sandwich out of it.

Whoop. Writers should read Chandler in small doses, the way you read Harlan Ellison and H.P. Lovecraft. It’s too easy to slip into their powerful idiom.

I don’t have a thing to add to what hundreds of reviews are already saying, other than once in a while, you’ve got to treat yourself to re-reading the best of the best. Chandler’s work deserves to be up on your library shelf along with the complete works of Shakespeare and the rest of those public domain, “great books” with their attractive, matching spines and rarely opened pages. Except, with Chandler, you should open up the books and read them.

The wonderful thing about Chandler is that you are NOT just tagging along with a detective solving a mystery. Solving the mystery seems to be a metaphor for exploring the intricacies and eccentricities of life itself. Sure, the story is set in 1940s Los Angeles, but the stories are not tethered to their time. Like Shakespeare, like Euripides, like Eugene O’Neil the tales are ageless.

The plot of “High Window” revolves around a rare, stolen coin. Marlowe is hired by a domineering matriarch to find the coin and, while he’s at it, “get the goods” on her son’s ex wife, whom she suspects of the theft. We, the reader, tag along as we encounter LA’s criminal underbelly: hired thugs, former actor/nightclub/criminal czars, private detective wanna-bes and bodies piling up faster than Christmas returns on last years fad gift. (Ties on boxing day? Bills on Black Friday? The national debut? Sigh. I’m not Raymond Chandler.)

Go ahead. Choose a Chandler title, “The High Window” is as good as any. Curl up in a comfortable chair in a quiet room and see how it’s done.

Nobody does it better.
Laras
I like the writing of this book, especially the tone of the narration. Marlowe is witty and sharp, and his narration is rather cynical. He observes his world as it is and doesn't hesitate to point out the bleakness out loud to either the readers and his clients (in dialogues); and this brings me to Marlowe himself.

I like his attitude towards other characters he meets. He is frank, or rather, doesn't try to polish the way he acts before them. Even before his client who is a rich important person I like the writing of this book, especially the tone of the narration. Marlowe is witty and sharp, and his narration is rather cynical. He observes his world as it is and doesn't hesitate to point out the bleakness out loud to either the readers and his clients (in dialogues); and this brings me to Marlowe himself.

I like his attitude towards other characters he meets. He is frank, or rather, doesn't try to polish the way he acts before them. Even before his client who is a rich important person with tendency to make people scared; Marlowe is polite, but doesn't make an effort to pretend to like her, and when situation calls, he doesn't think twice to speak his mind candidly. To a pitiful character but needs hard shaking to wake up from delusion, he doesn't hesitate to give a hard slap across the face. He sometimes takes justice into his hands, letting a crime doer go because he thinks the crime is justified; I don't support this, but as long as his judgment isn't clouded by personal reasons or purpose, I will accept this being done by a character. These show that he is a cold-headed, maybe even cold-hearted, person. Yet, he can be soft-hearted, too, being kind to people who deserve it. I love this type of character, not emotional but has emotions.

Storywise, it's very enjoyable. I enjoyed Marlowe's journey finding answers, collecting clues (because answers can't be found soon enough), and meeting shady characters. His findings are jumbled and tangled together, quite intriguing to keep my attention attached until I finished the book.

A little too much less important descriptions are scattered throughout the book, particularly of places Marlowe is visiting, but it's forgiven. Gripping writing, interesting characters, and intriguing plot, all unite and make a great read of this book.
Alex
Chandler's books are well worth reading even if you aren't into mystery novels. His novels are much more than that. They are, in many ways, an indictment of humanity.
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"Bunker Hill is old town, lost town, shabby town, crook town. Once, very long ago, it was the choice residential district of the city, and there are still standing a few of the jigsaw Gothic mansions with wide porches and walls covered with round-end shingles and full corner bay windows with spindle turrets. They are all ro Chandler's books are well worth reading even if you aren't into mystery novels. His novels are much more than that. They are, in many ways, an indictment of humanity.
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"Bunker Hill is old town, lost town, shabby town, crook town. Once, very long ago, it was the choice residential district of the city, and there are still standing a few of the jigsaw Gothic mansions with wide porches and walls covered with round-end shingles and full corner bay windows with spindle turrets. They are all rooming houses now, their parquetry floors are scratched and worn through the once glossy finish and the wide sweeping staircases are dark with time and with cheap varnish laid on over generations of dirt. In the tall rooms haggard landladies bicker with shifty tenants. On the wide cool front porches, reaching their cracked shoes into the sun, and staring at nothing, sit the old men with faces like lost battles.

In and around the old houses there are flyblown restaurants and Italian fruit stands and cheap apartment houses and little candy stores where you can buy even nastier things than their candy. And there are ratty hotels where nobody except people named Smith and Jones sign the register and where the night clerk is half watchdog and half pander.

Out of the apartment houses come women who should be young but have faces like stale beer; men with pulled-down hats and quick eyes that look the street over behind the cupped hand that shields the match flame; worn intellectuals with cigarette coughs and no money in the bank; fly cops with granite faces and unwavering eyes; cokies and coke peddlers; people who look like nothing in particular and know it, and once in a while even men that actually go to work. But they come out early, when the wide cracked sidewalks are empty and still have dew on the."
Jennifer Margulis
“Until you guys own your own souls you don’t own mine,” Philip Marlowe, a private detective who lives in Los Angeles, tells two leering police officers who are trying to get information from him about a murder. “Until you guys can be trusted every time and always, in all times and conditions, to seek the truth out and find it and let the chips fall where they may—until that time comes, I have a right to listen to my conscience, and protect my client the best way I can. Until I’m sure you don’t d “Until you guys own your own souls you don’t own mine,” Philip Marlowe, a private detective who lives in Los Angeles, tells two leering police officers who are trying to get information from him about a murder. “Until you guys can be trusted every time and always, in all times and conditions, to seek the truth out and find it and let the chips fall where they may—until that time comes, I have a right to listen to my conscience, and protect my client the best way I can. Until I’m sure you don’t do him more harm than you’ll do the truth good.”

The High Window is a masterful, complicated, fascinating detective novel set in 1941. Marlowe does not like the rude widow who has hired him to find her daughter-in-law and retrieve a valuable coin that has been stolen from her late-husband’s collection. He does not like her opulent but lightless house with its unused living areas and jade ashtrays, or her fop of a son who is as ineffectual as he is pathetic. But he likes the statue of a negro wearing white riding breeches and a green jacket and red cap holding a riding whip and the pretty young secretary who loyally defends Mrs. Murdock.

I’ve read this book twice. The twisted plot is complicated and not very easy to follow. There are a lot of characters in this book, and it’s easy to lose track of some of them. But Philip Marlowe, with his tough guy act, unexpected sense of humor, and bracing drinks, is one of the best drawn detectives in all of literature. It’s a brilliantly executed story, exquisitely well written, and a deserved classic of the 20th century. Raymond Chandler was not a prolific writer but he was a brilliant one. I envy anyone who has not yet read this novel. You’re in for a treat.
Larry Piper
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, s 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.
Tanner
Raymond Chandler's style has to be the best mystery writing I've encountered. I am on the side of the argument that rates Chandler over Dashielle Hammett. I enjoyed The Maltese Falcon, and intend to read more from Hammet, but it just couldn't touch Chandler's prose. Raymond Chandler has a way of perfectly blending hard-boiled characters, dialogue, and locations with a descriptive writing style that is simply literary. The only other author I can recall who can do literary mystery is Tana French. Raymond Chandler's style has to be the best mystery writing I've encountered. I am on the side of the argument that rates Chandler over Dashielle Hammett. I enjoyed The Maltese Falcon, and intend to read more from Hammet, but it just couldn't touch Chandler's prose. Raymond Chandler has a way of perfectly blending hard-boiled characters, dialogue, and locations with a descriptive writing style that is simply literary. The only other author I can recall who can do literary mystery is Tana French. if you like her, you may like Chandler and vice versa. Now, to The High Window. I've only read the previous two Philip Marlowe novels before this, but Marlowe has easily become my favorite detective of literature and one of my favorite literary characters overall. He has the tough attitude and wits necessary to handle the dangerous cases, yet is strangely likable at the same time. The High Window features similar motifs as previous Marlowe novels: A vast array of characters, confusing plot to follow, sometimes without a clean cut resolution or moral ending. Even though Chandler's novels feature some common motifs, they have thus far not ceased to entertain me. I find it hard to rank the novels because they don't entirely continue from one to the next. They are more episodic. But if In had to, I'd say The High Window rests between The Big Sleep and Farewell, My lovely. While it can't reach the classic thrills or quotability of The Big Sleep (not that any will) It is a bit more memorable than Farewell, My lovely. I found The High Window to be very intriguing and held my interest very well as the yarn of the plot unrolled throughout the novel leading to each twist and turn. I'd recommend it to mystery fans or anyone interested in trying noir fiction.
Fausto
3º caso del detective Philip Marlowe, donde se continúa con las características típicas del género negro desarrolladas en las anteriores entregas: el detective cínico y amargado, la mujer fatal (en este libro son 2), el dinero, el crimen, la policía, la corrupción, suspense e intriga, diálogos brillantes y cortantes, etc.
Chandler tiene un gran estilo descriptivo, no tan sólo para los edificios y la fisonomía de los personajes, también para retratar con crudeza la realidad social que le rodea. Un 3º caso del detective Philip Marlowe, donde se continúa con las características típicas del género negro desarrolladas en las anteriores entregas: el detective cínico y amargado, la mujer fatal (en este libro son 2), el dinero, el crimen, la policía, la corrupción, suspense e intriga, diálogos brillantes y cortantes, etc.
Chandler tiene un gran estilo descriptivo, no tan sólo para los edificios y la fisonomía de los personajes, también para retratar con crudeza la realidad social que le rodea. Un caso, con apariencia simple, de un robo de una moneda antigua, rara y valiosa desencadenará unas tramas de engaño, amores, asesinatos, pasión por el dinero, recuerdos del pasado, y traumas psicológicos.

Además de la amena trama, se hace alusión a la afición del ajedrez del detective, que junto con el alcohol son sus vías de escape de una realidad nada atractiva. También hay unas pequeñas referencias a la literatura (como en los anteriores libros): a “Cumbres borrascosas” (Heathcliff, el nombre de un perro), y a “El Quijote”, ya que un personaje denomina al detective como “el caballero de la triste figura”; y, en verdad, tiene un aire quijotesco por su afán de buscar la verdad y su sentido del honor.
D.F. Monk
My Chandler re-read continues. IMO, The High Window takes a few more risks in pacing and character, than I think Farewell did, but they pay off in the end. I feel some of the edge is lost because Marlowe seems to be in less imminent danger. Reading in the 2010's, I can't also help but notice the way casual violence to women is passed over. It makes me wonder if Marlowe is indifferent to it (which I am less inclined to believe given his moral compass on other things), or feels helpless speaking u My Chandler re-read continues. IMO, The High Window takes a few more risks in pacing and character, than I think Farewell did, but they pay off in the end. I feel some of the edge is lost because Marlowe seems to be in less imminent danger. Reading in the 2010's, I can't also help but notice the way casual violence to women is passed over. It makes me wonder if Marlowe is indifferent to it (which I am less inclined to believe given his moral compass on other things), or feels helpless speaking up against it since even the police don't seem to care about it despite clear evidence (Hench's girl has clearly taken hits from him). I've read that Chandler felt it was important to represent things how they were in society at the time, even if it were unpleasant. I'd like to think we've come further since then, but I'm still looking around for my own clear evidence and failing to find a compelling abundance of it. Regardless, Window still remains just as well-written as his other works and wonderfully quotable: "Nobody came in, nobody called, nothing happened, nobody cared whether I died or went to El Paso."
Jerod H
This is my first Raymond Chandler novel, and I am an instant fan. I've been wanting to read his stuff because I'm a big fan of film noir classics, especially 'The Big Sleep', and Chandler is universally acknowledged as the supreme master of the 'hard-boiled' genre, from which so many Hollywood classics have been made. I think the detective mystery, along with the western, are truly American creations, and Chandler deserves credit as a great influence on American culture.

The plot of the novel mo This is my first Raymond Chandler novel, and I am an instant fan. I've been wanting to read his stuff because I'm a big fan of film noir classics, especially 'The Big Sleep', and Chandler is universally acknowledged as the supreme master of the 'hard-boiled' genre, from which so many Hollywood classics have been made. I think the detective mystery, along with the western, are truly American creations, and Chandler deserves credit as a great influence on American culture.

The plot of the novel moves fast, the atmosphere is rich and stylish, and the dialogue is AWESOME! I personally love stories with complex masculine characters, such as found in Hemingway and westerns, and I think that is part of what draws me to 'hard-boiled' and film noir. Case in point: Despite his cynicism, Marlowe proves to be a hero in this story by saving young Merle from Mrs. Murdock. I dig that.

Also, I'll always imagine Bogart as Marlowe, but I don't mind, Bogie fits the bill perfectly.

Chip
As I read this book an astonishing thing happened - Humphrey Bogart's voice was what I heard as I read Philip Marlowe's narration - and my mental visualizations were all in black and white, despite the incorporation of vivid color in the descriptions. Reading this book was like watching a film noir from the 1940's for the first time: gripping, gritty, populated with not so likeable characters and every dilemna a shade of grey, never black or white. This reminded me a lot of Erle Stanley Gardner, As I read this book an astonishing thing happened - Humphrey Bogart's voice was what I heard as I read Philip Marlowe's narration - and my mental visualizations were all in black and white, despite the incorporation of vivid color in the descriptions. Reading this book was like watching a film noir from the 1940's for the first time: gripping, gritty, populated with not so likeable characters and every dilemna a shade of grey, never black or white. This reminded me a lot of Erle Stanley Gardner, but better - there's a deeper dimension to Chandler's writing that Gardner never captured... but again we're arguing shades of grey. Chandler was an astonishing author whose works languish because of the popularity of his fiction... bestsellers can't be literature, right? I've got the bug now; I want to read all of Chandler's books (there are only seven). This book is a keeper. I wonder if it was ever made into a movie with Bogart... even the last line "You and Capablanca" (referencing a chess game) alludes to Bogart in Casablanca. Intentional? I'm going to find out!
Nick Guzan
Appropriately complex for hardboiled detective noir and even tidier than those regarded as Raymond Chandler's best (i.e. no unsolved murders of chauffeurs!), The High Window ranks among my favorites, blending Chandler's particular gift for mood and language with a more coherent plot in the style of Dashiell Hammett. It's captivating and hits all the points one hopes to see in detective fiction of the era - private eyes, blonde floozies, shady gamblers, a twisted millionaire family, and plenty of Appropriately complex for hardboiled detective noir and even tidier than those regarded as Raymond Chandler's best (i.e. no unsolved murders of chauffeurs!), The High Window ranks among my favorites, blending Chandler's particular gift for mood and language with a more coherent plot in the style of Dashiell Hammett. It's captivating and hits all the points one hopes to see in detective fiction of the era - private eyes, blonde floozies, shady gamblers, a twisted millionaire family, and plenty of booze and smoking propelling it all - without anything seeming too rote. The tightness of the action - all compressed into two days with a brief epilogue - also help keep things moving coherently.

Tough for anything to top Chandler's classic The Big Sleep, but I think it's better and more readable than both the revered Farewell, My Lovely and The Long Goodbye.

(One strange thing: Between the Murdocks, the Mornys, Elisha Morningstar, Maybelle Masters, Dr. Moss, and - of course - Marlowe, why did so many characters' last names have to begin with the letter M?)
Brad McKenna
Mr. Chandler has a knack for presenting many magnificent turns of phrase. His style makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read. This plot, Marlowe is hired to find a woman's daughter-in-law because she's expected to have stolen a rare coin, almost doesn't matter.

The characters bob and weave throughout the tale, connecting in seemingly tangential ways. But Mr. Chandler ties everything together in the end. The solution tends to break the golden rule of mystery writing: make sure the audience has all th Mr. Chandler has a knack for presenting many magnificent turns of phrase. His style makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read. This plot, Marlowe is hired to find a woman's daughter-in-law because she's expected to have stolen a rare coin, almost doesn't matter.

The characters bob and weave throughout the tale, connecting in seemingly tangential ways. But Mr. Chandler ties everything together in the end. The solution tends to break the golden rule of mystery writing: make sure the audience has all the info it needs to solve the mystery. He presents things that could be clues but not enough info for us to solve it. Or else I'm too thick to decipher what the clues really mean. I admit, it could be the latter.

I would recommend this book with but one caveat: ignore the overt misogyny and racism. It's tough to swallow at times, but methinks Mr. Chandler shouldn't be punished for being a product of his time. I'm not saying you should forgive him his sins, but rather accept him for whom his is: glaring flaws and all.
Jerry
Having never read any Raymond Chandler, I knew I was doing a disservice to myself. His writing is so highly regarded in all those "how to write" books. I've never been a fan of mystery fiction, and not especially interested in hard-boiled detective stories. I can't get Humphrey Bogart out of my head, and the scenes are all in black and white.

Well, that's changing now. I've been missing some great stuff. The writing is great. Chandler's descriptive power and eye for specific details will just hit Having never read any Raymond Chandler, I knew I was doing a disservice to myself. His writing is so highly regarded in all those "how to write" books. I've never been a fan of mystery fiction, and not especially interested in hard-boiled detective stories. I can't get Humphrey Bogart out of my head, and the scenes are all in black and white.

Well, that's changing now. I've been missing some great stuff. The writing is great. Chandler's descriptive power and eye for specific details will just hit you in the face. Not having much experience with the mystery genre, I guess the actual mystery was fine. I'll just say it all was fairly convoluted but made sense. In a way. Well, maybe. It didn't wreck the story for me.

Many say this is not Chandler's best. Well, maybe I'm just impressed because I'm new around these parts. But I think this book was awesome. I'll be reading more of Chandler's stuff.

This book was written in 1942. So women and minorities look out! You'll get a taste of the times for sure. Treat it as an artifact of that era, and enjoy the book.
Mark
I can't remember when I first read a book by Raymond Chandler. Needless to say, it was a long time ago...
I was quite enamored by hard boiled detective novels and Chandler is a godfather/God of the genre. I know that The High Window was not one of the Chandler novels I read years ago and it certainly isn't one of his famous novels, although this one was made into a film just as Farewell My Lovely and The Big Sleep were. The High Window plot initiates when a widow hires Los Angeles private detecti I can't remember when I first read a book by Raymond Chandler. Needless to say, it was a long time ago...
I was quite enamored by hard boiled detective novels and Chandler is a godfather/God of the genre. I know that The High Window was not one of the Chandler novels I read years ago and it certainly isn't one of his famous novels, although this one was made into a film just as Farewell My Lovely and The Big Sleep were. The High Window plot initiates when a widow hires Los Angeles private detective Philip Marlowe to find a purloined coin that belonged to her late husband and may have been stolen by her son, whom she suspects. Chandler weaves a good fabric of plot threads and most readers will be highly entertained. I find that, personally, Chandler's work has not "aged well". I have trouble with the dialogue when it strikes me as forced and unnatural. Still, no question Raymond Chandler was a gifted author...
Tom
Of the Raymond Chandler books I have read so far (the others being The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely), I enjoyed this one the most. Part of this is I took the time to reread the beginning after I realized I had missed or forgotten some information. I think I'm getting better at reading mysteries, and trying to keep up with Marlowe's reasoning on the case. This one had some superb writing, as well as including the term "antimacassar."

I also recently watched "The Big Lebowski" and seeing how t Of the Raymond Chandler books I have read so far (the others being The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely), I enjoyed this one the most. Part of this is I took the time to reread the beginning after I realized I had missed or forgotten some information. I think I'm getting better at reading mysteries, and trying to keep up with Marlowe's reasoning on the case. This one had some superb writing, as well as including the term "antimacassar."

I also recently watched "The Big Lebowski" and seeing how the Coen Brothers channel their inner Chandler is pretty fun.
~Calyre~
Puis je fais le tour du bureau et j'ouvre le tiroir qu'elle a refermé. Ça ne me regarde pas. Je suis curieux, voilà tout. Qu'elle garde là un petit Colt automatique, ça ne me regarde pas non plus. Je repousse le tiroir et je me rassois.

- Vous ne m'aimez pas énormément, hein?
La main sur le bouton, je me retourne et je lui fais, avec un sourire:
- Vous en connaissez des gens qui vous aiment?

- Ne me demandez pas ce que je ne sais pas, je ne peux pas vous répondre. Et ne me demandez pas ce que je sai Puis je fais le tour du bureau et j'ouvre le tiroir qu'elle a refermé. Ça ne me regarde pas. Je suis curieux, voilà tout. Qu'elle garde là un petit Colt automatique, ça ne me regarde pas non plus. Je repousse le tiroir et je me rassois.

- Vous ne m'aimez pas énormément, hein?
La main sur le bouton, je me retourne et je lui fais, avec un sourire:
- Vous en connaissez des gens qui vous aiment?

- Ne me demandez pas ce que je ne sais pas, je ne peux pas vous répondre. Et ne me demandez pas ce que je sais parce que je ne vous répondrai pas.

- Je lui ai dit que Mme Morny était là, avec vous. J'ai peut-être mal fait?
- Vous auriez pu vous mêler de ce qui vous regarde!
- C'est quand même marrant que ça m'soit pas venu à l'idée!

Il est couché sur le sol, tassé sur lui-même. Très seul. Très mort.
Michael
I was so thrilled to find an English book in a Korean book store that I had to get it. I throughly enjoyed reading this Chandler story. It follows Philip Marlowe getting hired by an old widow to get back a gold coin worth a fair amount of money. Suspected to be stolen by the hated daughter-in-law. As usual, nothing or no one is up-front. What I liked about this book, is that there are many more loose ends that are not tied up at the end of the story as there were at the beginning. This book has I was so thrilled to find an English book in a Korean book store that I had to get it. I throughly enjoyed reading this Chandler story. It follows Philip Marlowe getting hired by an old widow to get back a gold coin worth a fair amount of money. Suspected to be stolen by the hated daughter-in-law. As usual, nothing or no one is up-front. What I liked about this book, is that there are many more loose ends that are not tied up at the end of the story as there were at the beginning. This book has probably the most morally ambiguous Marlowe, which is wonderfully evident in the final explanation, that was done in an almost parody of the crime/noir ending. Highly recommended, but I suggest reading "The Long Goodbye" (my favorite Chandler) or "Farewell, My Lovely" first, if you are not familiar to Marlowe's world. I easily rank this book higher than "The Big Sleep".
Sean O
One of Chandler's best mysteries, but not the best story, if you dig what I'm saying.

The story opens (again) with Marlow visiting someone for a job. This time the client is so revoltingly unpleasant you almost wish he would throw her to the wolves.

But 25 dollars per day plus expenses buys a lot of loyalty.

Marlowe runs into more likable characters than usual. The secretary, the chauffeur, the other PI, and the elevator guy all have the same rule as Marlowe. Do the honorable work, and if the wo One of Chandler's best mysteries, but not the best story, if you dig what I'm saying.

The story opens (again) with Marlow visiting someone for a job. This time the client is so revoltingly unpleasant you almost wish he would throw her to the wolves.

But 25 dollars per day plus expenses buys a lot of loyalty.

Marlowe runs into more likable characters than usual. The secretary, the chauffeur, the other PI, and the elevator guy all have the same rule as Marlowe. Do the honorable work, and if the work isn't honorable, be honorable in spite of the work.

There's a lack of Marlowe getting beat up, flirting wjth beautiful women, and there's a little too much "right place at the right time" coincidences which cost it a star.
Definitely worth a read if you liked other Chandler novels. Don't make this your first one though.
Tim Schneider
Chandler's third novel finds the author using a much more linear and straightforward plot than the previous two novels. Marlowe is Marlowe, but really does ride the soiled white-knight horse in this novel. His code of ethics works for him. Unfortunately, while it works to help the victim it also works to prop up some very unsavory characters and leave them relatively unscathed.

The climax was interesting and a bit odd. Given the number of times Chandler disparaged the "cozy mystery" in his essay Chandler's third novel finds the author using a much more linear and straightforward plot than the previous two novels. Marlowe is Marlowe, but really does ride the soiled white-knight horse in this novel. His code of ethics works for him. Unfortunately, while it works to help the victim it also works to prop up some very unsavory characters and leave them relatively unscathed.

The climax was interesting and a bit odd. Given the number of times Chandler disparaged the "cozy mystery" in his essays the confrontation with young Murdock had hearkened back to the classic Christie ending. Of course the fact that the "bad guys" didn't go to jail made it significantly different from the standard cozy ending.

Great writing and interesting characters throughout, I'll cop to being one of the few who saw this as a step up from Farewell, My Lovely.
Alisa
(I actually listened to the audiobook, which was unfortunately abridged, though I would go back & re-read to catch what they left out.) Though not particularly varied in syntax, I still really enjoyed this little bit of mystery noir. Turns out I enjoy the simplicity of an unflappable, slightly chauvinist male private investigator, hired by a rich, crabby lady to do her bidding. I could use a little more insight into Marlowe's character, but maybe the other Marlowe novels give us a little mor (I actually listened to the audiobook, which was unfortunately abridged, though I would go back & re-read to catch what they left out.) Though not particularly varied in syntax, I still really enjoyed this little bit of mystery noir. Turns out I enjoy the simplicity of an unflappable, slightly chauvinist male private investigator, hired by a rich, crabby lady to do her bidding. I could use a little more insight into Marlowe's character, but maybe the other Marlowe novels give us a little more. This Los Angeles of the 40s is wonderfully seedy & sunny, and the crimson lipstick & cocktails by the pool give the whole thing a perfect sense of place, and I loved reading about the period details.
K. Smith
There is something about Chandler that is so intoxicating--and I am using the right word I think. It is just that one liner that comes out of nowhere and hits you with its perfection. The cadence, the slang--it all comes together to form this little tiny nothing that creates a visceral reaction in your gut. No one can turn an angsty phrase quite like him. It makes this particular novel a journey more than a fast read to the end. Now that I have read a few Chandlers I am beginning to see the key There is something about Chandler that is so intoxicating--and I am using the right word I think. It is just that one liner that comes out of nowhere and hits you with its perfection. The cadence, the slang--it all comes together to form this little tiny nothing that creates a visceral reaction in your gut. No one can turn an angsty phrase quite like him. It makes this particular novel a journey more than a fast read to the end. Now that I have read a few Chandlers I am beginning to see the key pieces pretty early (nothing is that surprising about the surprise ending), but then Chandler takes care of that by mocking the typical 'mystery book' finale too. In the end I still put the book away thinking to myself, 'wow, what a fantastic non-surprise ending'.
Ryan Haupt
Raymond Chandler does it again with the next installment of the adventures of Phillip Marlowe. Marlow is iconic, managing to be paradoxically tame and edgy by both modern and contextual standards. The characters involved in the mystery are as compelling as the mystery itself. I'll never have enough of Chandler's take on 1940's Los Angeles through the eyes of a surly private dick. Also, windows are often described and play an important role.

One of my favorite lines from the book, being said to Ma Raymond Chandler does it again with the next installment of the adventures of Phillip Marlowe. Marlow is iconic, managing to be paradoxically tame and edgy by both modern and contextual standards. The characters involved in the mystery are as compelling as the mystery itself. I'll never have enough of Chandler's take on 1940's Los Angeles through the eyes of a surly private dick. Also, windows are often described and play an important role.

One of my favorite lines from the book, being said to Marlowe by a guy about to get all revealed to him:
I have a feeling you are going to be very brilliant. Remorseless flow of logic and intuition and all that rot. Just like a detective in a book.
Michael Borshuk
One of the most excellent Marlowe adventures, complete with a very satisfying (if convoluted) plot resolution, a weird mix of Hollywood rogues, and some of Marlowe's most profound world-weary philosophizing. (Pay close attention to his indignant monologue to Detective Breeze about the moral difference between a private dick and a copper.) I am consistently amazed at how Chandler--like Hitchcock--could suggest so much depravity and horror through insinuation, creating a stark world that disturbs One of the most excellent Marlowe adventures, complete with a very satisfying (if convoluted) plot resolution, a weird mix of Hollywood rogues, and some of Marlowe's most profound world-weary philosophizing. (Pay close attention to his indignant monologue to Detective Breeze about the moral difference between a private dick and a copper.) I am consistently amazed at how Chandler--like Hitchcock--could suggest so much depravity and horror through insinuation, creating a stark world that disturbs me much more than the more explicit material crafted by his hard-boiled descendants in decades since.
Ace McGee
Whenever I read Raymond Chandler I want to cry, that's how good it is. I think we all would love to be Phillip Marlow, fighting for the little guy with just our brains, our smart ass answers, and a half A bottle of rye in the bottom drawer. No computers, cell phones, wiretaps. Just old school flat footing it, tailing the bad guys two car lengths behind, & greasing the tongues of elevator operators, desk men, & bellhops with a fin all for $25 a day plus expenses. There are twists and turn Whenever I read Raymond Chandler I want to cry, that's how good it is. I think we all would love to be Phillip Marlow, fighting for the little guy with just our brains, our smart ass answers, and a half A bottle of rye in the bottom drawer. No computers, cell phones, wiretaps. Just old school flat footing it, tailing the bad guys two car lengths behind, & greasing the tongues of elevator operators, desk men, & bellhops with a fin all for $25 a day plus expenses. There are twists and turns and just about everybody's guilty of something. Bodies pile up as you solve the Mystery from the comfort of your easy chair, sharing a drink with Marlow but never the sap to the back of the head.
Ian
Well I guess you are susceptible to this sort of thing or you are not, but if you do like this sort of thing, this really is the sort of thing you like. Chandler liked the style of Hammet and was to some extent a disciple of his, (though he was about six years older, and died slightly earlier), the wit and humour is, I like to think, his own.

I can't think of Chandler's private detective, Philip Marlowe, (THE private detective?), without thinking of Humphrey Bogart who also played Dashiel Hammet' Well I guess you are susceptible to this sort of thing or you are not, but if you do like this sort of thing, this really is the sort of thing you like. Chandler liked the style of Hammet and was to some extent a disciple of his, (though he was about six years older, and died slightly earlier), the wit and humour is, I like to think, his own.

I can't think of Chandler's private detective, Philip Marlowe, (THE private detective?), without thinking of Humphrey Bogart who also played Dashiel Hammet's Sam Spade.

So settle in and get down to the mean streets of LA and do battle with the chiselers, the hoods, and corrupt politcos, but stay noble.
Maarten Mortier
A perfect noir detective. Chandler builds suspense and never loses style, never loses track of Marlowe's identity.
Marlowe is surrounded by characters which may come off as cartoony at moments. This tightrope suspension of disbelief is easier to walk if you assume the pose of a half drunken Los Angeles resident in the 30's.
In The High Window Chandler explores his own literary style even further, now giving more breathing space between hardboiled lines to develop Marlowe's character and moral con A perfect noir detective. Chandler builds suspense and never loses style, never loses track of Marlowe's identity.
Marlowe is surrounded by characters which may come off as cartoony at moments. This tightrope suspension of disbelief is easier to walk if you assume the pose of a half drunken Los Angeles resident in the 30's.
In The High Window Chandler explores his own literary style even further, now giving more breathing space between hardboiled lines to develop Marlowe's character and moral convictions. Marlowe is straight and sharp as an arrow.
Gets even better - and funnier - on a second read.
Aaron Martz
As convoluted as the rest of the Marlowe stories, this one concerns a stolen gold coin, a rich alcoholic woman, her spoiled son, his temptress wife, various creeps, and a sexually-repressed secretary whom Marlowe has a thing for. The plot twists and turns and is hard to follow, Marlowe spits one-liners like there's no tomorrow, the descriptions of Los Angeles circa 1942 read like gutter poetry, and at the end, as usual, Marlowe has to talk for about nine pages to explain what just happened. Merl As convoluted as the rest of the Marlowe stories, this one concerns a stolen gold coin, a rich alcoholic woman, her spoiled son, his temptress wife, various creeps, and a sexually-repressed secretary whom Marlowe has a thing for. The plot twists and turns and is hard to follow, Marlowe spits one-liners like there's no tomorrow, the descriptions of Los Angeles circa 1942 read like gutter poetry, and at the end, as usual, Marlowe has to talk for about nine pages to explain what just happened. Merle the secretary is the best character this time around, and Marlowe's scenes with her have an aching sadness that draws Marlowe in from his usual wisecracking detachment.
Emphyrio
The High Window (1942) is as well written as his two previous novels, which is to say that its prose is still vernacular, sensuous, and evocative of the West Coast. Nevertheless, the plot is more coherent, and the balance of characters feels more pleasing. It is a tale of murder that is populated by archetypal figures that are reassuring in their familiarity: an alcoholic iron matriarch and her hopeless son, their mousy secretary, a quasi-criminal club owner with his retinue of cynical showgirls The High Window (1942) is as well written as his two previous novels, which is to say that its prose is still vernacular, sensuous, and evocative of the West Coast. Nevertheless, the plot is more coherent, and the balance of characters feels more pleasing. It is a tale of murder that is populated by archetypal figures that are reassuring in their familiarity: an alcoholic iron matriarch and her hopeless son, their mousy secretary, a quasi-criminal club owner with his retinue of cynical showgirls and heavy henchmen, and two hard-boiled detectives. If you enjoyed the others you will certainly enjoy this one.
Jack
Like many of the genre, there are the usual plot twists, a variety of characters, beautiful dames, and a whole lot of crime. The book moves along in a swift pace, and the entire plot of the book probably takes place within 2 or 3 days although it feels much longer. After all, what exactly are the chances that a detective would stumble upon 2 murders, or make that 3 murders, all in less than a week ?

Well, in a Raymond Chandler story, the chances are apparently pretty good. What looks like it migh Like many of the genre, there are the usual plot twists, a variety of characters, beautiful dames, and a whole lot of crime. The book moves along in a swift pace, and the entire plot of the book probably takes place within 2 or 3 days although it feels much longer. After all, what exactly are the chances that a detective would stumble upon 2 murders, or make that 3 murders, all in less than a week ?

Well, in a Raymond Chandler story, the chances are apparently pretty good. What looks like it might be case of a stolen rare coin turns into messy case of a family's hidden secrets. A great, fun read.
Dr.Srinivas Prasad Veeraraghavan
I now see where Ian MacDonald got his inspiration from. This is right up his alley and but for the prose (The Chandler prose cannot be replicated and is a one-off), this could have easily been an IM novel.

Darkened buildings with rusted railings and dirt stained elevators, smoke infested corridors reeking of sweat and sin, world wise floozies tougher than corroded iron and seemingly "on the make" from the time of birth, steely eyed finks and yellow but devious rats who don't mind where and how th I now see where Ian MacDonald got his inspiration from. This is right up his alley and but for the prose (The Chandler prose cannot be replicated and is a one-off), this could have easily been an IM novel.

Darkened buildings with rusted railings and dirt stained elevators, smoke infested corridors reeking of sweat and sin, world wise floozies tougher than corroded iron and seemingly "on the make" from the time of birth, steely eyed finks and yellow but devious rats who don't mind where and how they get their next quarter.....Aah, it's a beautiful world this and Chandler is the incontrovertible King of this squalid jungle!
Richard Bon
Really loved this one. Marlowe figures all of the angles well in advance and tells his rich, twice widowed client how it is and how it's gonna be, even while he protects her interests. And he tells the cops what he really thinks of them, outright, in what's essentially a monologue complete with his own fictional, mishandled former front page crime story. Plenty of murders to go around and, as usual with Chandler, the worst guy in the lot eventually gets it. Right there with The Long Goodbye as f Really loved this one. Marlowe figures all of the angles well in advance and tells his rich, twice widowed client how it is and how it's gonna be, even while he protects her interests. And he tells the cops what he really thinks of them, outright, in what's essentially a monologue complete with his own fictional, mishandled former front page crime story. Plenty of murders to go around and, as usual with Chandler, the worst guy in the lot eventually gets it. Right there with The Long Goodbye as far as this reader is concerned.
Jamie
Another brilliant mystery novel from Mr. Chandler. His books employ the same masterful formula - a sarcastic detective happens upon a few murders, has a drink every hour or so, cops an attitude toward everyone including the police and his clients, snoops around places he shouldn't and leaves the reader utterly confused as to what's going on, then reveals how everything is tied together at the end and outs the criminals. I honestly can't tell you specific details about Chandler's novels, but they Another brilliant mystery novel from Mr. Chandler. His books employ the same masterful formula - a sarcastic detective happens upon a few murders, has a drink every hour or so, cops an attitude toward everyone including the police and his clients, snoops around places he shouldn't and leaves the reader utterly confused as to what's going on, then reveals how everything is tied together at the end and outs the criminals. I honestly can't tell you specific details about Chandler's novels, but they're always entertaining and hard to put down halfway through. And great for learning 40s slang.
Steven
Another good Phillip Marlowe story. I love the writing, and how the author depicts the town and its characters and the interplay among them. Its another good mystery, although I would like to have seen Marlowe develop from book to book. Perhaps it is better to leave Marlowe alone so that he is the same steady character from book to book whose only development is that which is inherent in the story, but another alternative would have been to have occurrences in his life that cause the sort of cha Another good Phillip Marlowe story. I love the writing, and how the author depicts the town and its characters and the interplay among them. Its another good mystery, although I would like to have seen Marlowe develop from book to book. Perhaps it is better to leave Marlowe alone so that he is the same steady character from book to book whose only development is that which is inherent in the story, but another alternative would have been to have occurrences in his life that cause the sort of changes that occur to people over time. Perhaps this will occur in future novels.
Brett Adams
I've read five Chandler novels now and am in awe of his consistency -- every one has been a cracker. Chandler continues to offer glimpses into the intriguing character of PI Phillip Marlowe--Chandler's "shop-soiled Galahad"-- yet Marlowe retains that delicious sense of inscrutability. For the reader, you sense the plot-threads of each case being woven together, but the weaving is occurring one room over, and in the dark.

I had a lot of quotes, and some notes on this novel's irony re the detective I've read five Chandler novels now and am in awe of his consistency -- every one has been a cracker. Chandler continues to offer glimpses into the intriguing character of PI Phillip Marlowe--Chandler's "shop-soiled Galahad"-- yet Marlowe retains that delicious sense of inscrutability. For the reader, you sense the plot-threads of each case being woven together, but the weaving is occurring one room over, and in the dark.

I had a lot of quotes, and some notes on this novel's irony re the detective genre, but Goodreads lost the rest of my review. Ho hum...
furious
still 60+ pages to go, but i feel confident stating as fact that every Raymond Chandler novel i read is, at that time, my favorite Raymond Chandler novel. the man is a genius.

UPDATE: he did not disappoint. what i most admire in Chandler, & try to emulate, is his precision as a wordsmith. he had a true lyrical gift & his writing at once conveys a dark poetry, a stern stoicism, & a bone-dry sense of humor. genius, i says.
Elisa
Great book, as all Philip Marlowe books are. It's not only the epic atmosphere of shady piano bars, dusty rooms and forsaken people, it's the craft and the mastery with which it's written. It is sadness, and melancholy and loneliness, it's one of the most attractive characters ever written, one that draws you in because he is flawed and alone and estranged. Good job Mr. Chandler in reminding us what humanity is like when the lights are turned out.

Oh yeah, and the murder mystery is also very ente Great book, as all Philip Marlowe books are. It's not only the epic atmosphere of shady piano bars, dusty rooms and forsaken people, it's the craft and the mastery with which it's written. It is sadness, and melancholy and loneliness, it's one of the most attractive characters ever written, one that draws you in because he is flawed and alone and estranged. Good job Mr. Chandler in reminding us what humanity is like when the lights are turned out.

Oh yeah, and the murder mystery is also very entertaining =)
Mike Dotterer
The High Window is rife with witticisms and shady characters that make every Phillip Marlowe novel so great. The intrepid detective seems to always have something witty to say, and every character has an angle. Of particular interest, is his relationship with his client.

But aside from what is great about every Marlowe story, this installment doesn't add a whole lot. The case is simple, it doesn't offer any major surprises. And Marlowe never gets himself in any real trouble, seemingly cruising t The High Window is rife with witticisms and shady characters that make every Phillip Marlowe novel so great. The intrepid detective seems to always have something witty to say, and every character has an angle. Of particular interest, is his relationship with his client.

But aside from what is great about every Marlowe story, this installment doesn't add a whole lot. The case is simple, it doesn't offer any major surprises. And Marlowe never gets himself in any real trouble, seemingly cruising through the case.
Robert Graham
The first page lets you know you are embarking on the work of a master. Chandler`s style is unforgettable and enviable.It is dangerous for other writers since it is hard to read his work without wanting to write just like him. Philip Marlowe is the prototype for so many hard-bitten ,world weary, lonely detectives, but he is in a class by himself. He has principles which cause him a lot of trouble and he has a poetry about him that fits surprisingly well in someone so hard-boiled. All his major b The first page lets you know you are embarking on the work of a master. Chandler`s style is unforgettable and enviable.It is dangerous for other writers since it is hard to read his work without wanting to write just like him. Philip Marlowe is the prototype for so many hard-bitten ,world weary, lonely detectives, but he is in a class by himself. He has principles which cause him a lot of trouble and he has a poetry about him that fits surprisingly well in someone so hard-boiled. All his major books are masterpieces and should be read and then reread.
Owen Duffy
My introduction to Philip Marlowe was in Chandler's later novel "The Long Good-Bye". This is pacier - set over 48 hours and with less of the author's own introspection. It's better as a straightforward detective yarn.

Chandler really excels in getting us into his protagonist's head. We see the world through Marlowe's eyes. Even when nothing much is happening, we see how he absorbs the minutiae of his surroundings. The result is that rare effect where you forget you're reading a book. Your surroun My introduction to Philip Marlowe was in Chandler's later novel "The Long Good-Bye". This is pacier - set over 48 hours and with less of the author's own introspection. It's better as a straightforward detective yarn.

Chandler really excels in getting us into his protagonist's head. We see the world through Marlowe's eyes. Even when nothing much is happening, we see how he absorbs the minutiae of his surroundings. The result is that rare effect where you forget you're reading a book. Your surroundings fade away and you find yourself totally absorbed in the story.
Ivailo Sarandev
Mr. Marlowe is a knight in shining armor. With a pipe. And booze.

Nevertheless he saves the girl (though he doesn't get it) and he still ends up with a little bit more money than he started off.

Try to listen to Bohren & der Club of Gore and their album Sunset Mission during the entire book (and all the other Chandler books as a matter of fact) and see where that gets you. It got me to a pretty nice place. :)
Max Kindred
Film noir-like imagery amid the back porch wine drinking, a brief setting of the silhouetted stage, Chandler's luring clue that leads to a hard center, and a procession of events that convinces the reader he wrote before his time. Another great emulation of the hard-boiled whodunit, and it is not until the clicking of the safe lock until the reader realizes Chandler's influence on the Westlake-succeeded caper novel.
Sean Thomas Sullivan
Another great Chandler novel. This one looses a little steam towards the end, but is still a great read and has some unforgettable prose:

"On the wide cool porches, reaching their cracked shoes into the sun, and staring at nothing, sit the old men with faces like lost battles."

-and-

"The room beyond was large and square and sunken and cool and had the restful atmosphere of a funeral chapel and something of the same smell."
Benjamin Thomas
My new favorite Chandler novel...still the same classic pot-boiler PI formulaic plot (by the inventor of the formula), but somehow a smidgeon better than the first two I've read. A story of blackmail, murder, and classic manipulation of one human being by another, this one seemed a little easier to follow and perhaps reflects Chandler's overall writing skills improving (as opposed to merely incredible dialogue and scene description and plot).

On to number 4...
William S.
Chandler's writing is a delight, so much so that there are websites devoted to excerpts from his novels! This book is a fine example of his writing, and there really is a story within the story - a stolen coin. That is almost a novella on its own, and no wonder a film called "The Brasher Doubloon" was also made from the story. When Chandler becomes numismatically inclined, he gives the background of the coin in several succinct, believable, expert sentences. A fine read.
Lauren J
Another brilliant Phillip Marlowe novel by Raymond Chandler. It moves at a cracking pace, but - as is often the case with Chandler - the plot is secondary to the wisecracks and the descriptions. It really evokes the corruption and frayed glamour of the Southern California of the period. Marlowe is a whisky swilling, wisecracking, chess playing "shop soiled Galahad" and the perfect companion on a journey through the seedy underside of the city in pursuit of the truth. Excellent stuff.
Richard Downey
Raymond Chandler is amazing. The opening paragraph of The Red Wind, minus the last sentence, is one of the most sublime passages of prose ever written. The High Window is a very good book. Philip Marlowe is hired to recover a stolen coin, very valuable, and murder and intrigue ensue. While I still think my favorite Chandlers are either The Big Sleep or Farewell My Lovely, The High window is equally as good.
Thom
A classic example of the genre. Chandler gives you everything in this book: vivid characters, sparkling dialog and a tight plot with enough curves tossed in to keep the best armchair detective guessing. His descriptive powers are amazing. How often is one struck dumb by the simple and yet rich description of something as mundane as a door, let alone the interesting characters that populate all of his work? If crime/mystery novels appeal to you at all, you must read this book.
Roz Ito
It might seem contradictory to have a comic Marlowe novel, but that's what this is. Chandler parodies Hollywood, the British parlor room mystery, and his own hard-boiled pulp genre. This is a relatively light and entertaining read, with Chandler playing up the softer, chivalrous side of Marlowe, which can be nice to see. Though if you want something with more weight and impact to it, I recommend Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely instead.
Richard
Better than The Big Sleep by a little, but not quite as good as Farewell, My Lovely — but all are well worth reading. I'd give it 4 stars if I could. Better than The Big Sleep by a little, but not quite as good as Farewell, My Lovely — but all are well worth reading. I'd give it 4½ stars if I could.
Jennifer Bell
82/100

I love Chandler's style, his characters, everything about it. He balances everything perfectly - not too much nor too little information. At time I got a little lost, but that didn't bother me because the writing was so beautiful and I knew I'd catch up in the end. Philip Marlowe is an all-time favourite character of mine.
Chad
This is part of my attempt to read the rest of the Chandler books I skipped by doing them all in order.

Here, Chandler is falling into some of the tropes of the pulp detective novel and even acknowledging in winks to the readers. The Brasher Doubloon rare coin makes an okay MacGuffin, but I can think of better bird-shaped one.
Mick Grant
Chandler is one of the masters of the hard boiled private eye novel. Philip Marlowe is the slightly tarnished knight in shining armour walking the streets of 1940's LA encountering damsels in distress, femmes fatales and a variety of hoods and hoodlums. Plotting isn't his strongpoint and there are sometimes inconsistencies but the prose is strong.
David Evans
I think this is possibly my favourite Chandler. Great dialogue, very funny and full of superb one liners. Raymondo and P.G. Wodehouse apparently both went to the same school (Dulwich College in London) although they were not contemporaries and I like to think of them as interchangeable and furthermore that Philip Marlow and Aunt Dahlia are alter egos.
David
As usual Marlowe is called on to solve a seemingly simple case which descends into multiple murders, plenty of tough guys, hard cops and sleazy women and eventually some dark secrets. But it's all about the writing, dialogue tailor-made for Bogart & Bacall. Not quite up to the standard of the Big Sleep and Farewell my lovely but pretty darn good.
Peter Haslehurst
Utterly absorbing. The charm of the book is Philip Marlow himself. He just can't resist being a smartass, even if it alienates his client or puts him in danger of a smack in the mouth or worse. I don't know how Chandler does it, but there's something wonderful and life-affirming about Marlow's world-weary cynicism.
Filip
Another great story about Philip Marlowe. As usual, the plot, the characters and the atmosphere is wonderful, even if Marlowe (!) seems uncharacteristically innocent and idealistic at times. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but then again in Marlowe's world you rarely ever get a happy ending.

All in all, I did really enjoy it.
Benjamin Plume
Excellent and a quick read. Sometimes Chandler's prose makes for slow going, but in this one he managed to retain the noir feel while keeping the pace up - something that's hard to do. It's one of my favorite Marlowe stories, which was nice coming on the heels of reading Farewell, My Lovely which I think is my least favorite.

Great to discover one of the best by a master.
Orla Murphy
For me this was incredibly amusing as well as inventive in its resolution - I didn't necessarily believe in any of the characters but the settings were well evoked and I enjoyed it as an exceptionally well-crafted shaggy dog story. It also is a bit of a masterclass in plot twists - having more in a chapter than most contemporary novels do in their entirety.
Christian
Detective fiction with a sense of humor? "The High Window," while still a very dark and suspenseful tale of murder and blackmail (spoiler alert? fuck it...) has genuine moments of levity that like self-deprecating parody. A lighter read than his more popular works, and still a top-notch mystery. Good show!
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