Review: Trouble Is My Business

Even though the fine folks at Amazon listed Trouble Is My Business as a novel, it is really a collection of 4 longish short stories from Raymond Chandler.  I kind of like Chandler, so my disappointment was bounded.  And really, the title alone is so excellent that it’s tough to imagine dissatisfaction.

The stories are all good fun.  Chandler’s voice, skillful plotting, and tough guy poetry are all displayed proudly, and the stories have enough literary meat to be thoroughly enjoyable.  Marlowe remains his own worst enemy, though he gets the usual run for the money in the person of manipulative clients, corrupt cops, and random lowlives.  These are all something of Chandler in a microcosm.

Still, I prefer the novels.

There are a fair number of writers who can sustain a story with Chandler’s strengths for the length of these stories, but watching him hold a taut mystery and interesting novel together over 4 times the length represents a difference of kind.  And rather than just being the same thing longer, the novels get deeper and richer.

That said, these are all worthwhile stories in their own right.

Strongly recommended.

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