Category Archives: Raymond Chandler

LA Noire and Raymond Chandler (Part 1)

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:

There’s been much talk about how this is a new type of game because LA Noire uses some pretty special technology but that doesn’t interest me. This is a game for fans of Raymond Chandler. Rockstar Games have already published this ebook in the US full of new stories about the city but they also have said that the game is full of Chandler references. And how could it not be? If you’re going to create a game – or a movie for that matter – set in 1940s LA you cannot escape Chandler. In novels like The Little Sister and The High Window he exposed the dark side of a city that he knew so well. LA was supposed to be a city of glitz and glamour, of starlets and heroes, but that was only one side of it. It was also a place of murder, blackmail and corruption.

I will be picking my copy of LA Noire up tomorrow and will try to post as many Chandler references as I can spot. But if you’re a fan of the game and want to know about the city and the period it features, don’t forget to check out Raymond Chandler’s novels. Start with The Big Sleep and Farwell, My Lovely and then The Little Sister. These are the standard that LA Noire has to live up to.

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Julian Pascal

The funny thing about records is that the authors of them and their subjects are rarely consistent. I’ve been researching Julian Pascal, Cissy’s first husband, and it’s proven to be complicated stuff. For one thing, Pascal changed his name from Goodridge Bowen to Julian Pascal at some point and he sometimes uses his original surname coupled with his new one, though rarely. Continue reading

Pearls Are A Nuisance

‘Pearls Are A Nuisance’ is one of Chandler’s more unusual stories. It appeared in the Dime Detective in 1939 and is narrated by a heavy drinking, 6ft something Anglicized American by the name of Walter Gage who talks ‘the way Jane Austen writes’ despite his size and muscles (he played football in college we are told by his adoring girlfriend, Ellen). Continue reading

Chandler on Film?

I just stumbled across a video filmed on the 17th of March 1918 of Canadian soldiers being presented to America dignitaries at the CEF HQ on the Western Front.The significance of this is that Chandler arrived in France on 16th of March and it is easy to imagine that Canadian commanders would show off their freshest troops. It is a long shot of course but I can’t help but wonder as I watch this video if Chandler is amongst these men. Continue reading

Reasons to be quiet

I just wanted to let you know why I’ve been so quiet for the last couple of months. After a fantastic three months in LA I had to return to home to the UK. I was very lucky in that the company I work for, PFD, have given me a sabbatical while I researched. Now that I am back though, I have to work pretty hard. Plus, I’ve been promoted to Associate Agent and have only just got used to that.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is – I am still working on Raymond and I will get back to updating this blog very soon.

Best to you all

Tom

Chandler on the BBC

I was recently interviewed about Raymond Chandler by a BBC journalist for a piece she did to mark the 50th Anniversary of his death. You can listen to the programme here. The Chandler segment starts about seven minutes in.

Extraodinary Day

I’ve just had the most exciting couple of days at UCLA. One of the librarians approached me today and told me that she had some uncatalogued Chandler letters and asked if I would like to see them. Continue reading