Saturday, September 12, 2015

Forgotten Books: KILLER IN THE RAIN by Raymond Chandler


Here's an interesting trip down the mean street called Chandler Lane. Mr. C didn't want these stories reprinted, because he chopped them up and pieced them back together to form three of his first four novels. If you haven't read those books in awhile, this is a great chance to see where they came from.

Killer in the Rain made it's first appearance in 1964, five years after Chandler's death. You won't find Philip Marlowe here, but you'll meet two of his main prototypes. Here's a look at what lies within:


 This story from January 1935 featured an unnamed narrator, with characters who later appeared in John Dalmas tales. It later became a piece of the first Marlowe novel, The Big Sleep.


The detective here is Ted Carmady, who later appeared in "Goldfish" and the next two stories. This one was canibalized for Farewell, My Lovely,


Another Ted Carmady adventure, that found its way into The Big Sleep.


This issue featured "Try the Girl," the final Camady story, and part of Farewell, My Lovely.


"Mandarin's Jade," in the Nov. 1937 issue of Dime, introduced John Dalmas, who later appeared in the non-cannibalized stories "Red Wind" and "Trouble is My Business." It became another piece of Farewell.


The Dalmas story "Bay City Blues," from 1938, was used in The Lady in the Lake


Another Dalmas story, from Jan. 1939, gave the novel its title. 


The detective in "No Crime in the Mountains," from Sept. 1941, is John Evans. Is that why Howard Browne chose that pen name for his Paul Pine series, starting in 1946?  This one formed another piece of Lady

11 comments:

James Reasoner said...

That old Pocket Books edition is the one I bought new and read. Great stuff. I'd read all the novels by then but didn't mind at all reading the stories they came from.

George said...

Like James, I read all the novels first and then read these stories. I had the Ballantine editions with those cool covers. The artist who painted those covers was at the BOUCHERCON in Philly. I should have bought a couple of those wonderful paintings!

Keith West said...

I read the stories before the novels. In fact, I think Killer in the Rain was the first Chandler book I read. I was a sophomore in high school at the time.

Graham Powell said...

Vintage Crime came out with a reprint of all of Chandler's work back in 1988 - I remember because it was my sophomore year of college and I lapped them up. The volume TROUBLE IS MY BUSINESS had all of these and a few others (as I recall). I understand that later reprints didn't, so I got lucky.

Richard R. said...

I also read the stories before the novels, because I came across the Ballentine editions. I love the stories, and have reread all of them many times. "Red Wind" is a particular favorite.

Richard R. said...

Another great story collection is PICKUP ON NOON STREET.

Barry Traylor said...

Who was the artist on the Ballantine pb? These were my introduction into Chandler and darn it I sure wish I had hung on to them as I once had them all.

Cap'n Bob said...

I'm trying to imagine all of the work involved mashing these stories together to form a novel with nothing but a typewriter or pen and paper at hand. No wonder he drank.

Brian Drake said...

And the punch line to "Killer in the Rain" is that the Sternwood's driver's murder (or Dravec in the story) is unsolved. Chandler made the same error twice.

Evan Lewis said...

Tom Adams did those great covers, Barry. I posted all 10 of them awhile back, here:
http://davycrockettsalmanack.blogspot.com/search/label/Tom%20Adams

neer said...

Read these stories before the novels. Wonderful stuff.