Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Drawing upon everyday incidents, common situations, and rural imagery, Robert Frost fashioned poetry of great lyrical beauty and potent symbolism. His language is simple, clear, and colloquial, yet dense with meaning and wider significance.
"Beautifully performed masterpieces!"
For sustained dramatic intrigue and sophistication of plot, William Shakespeare's sonnets are at least the equal of his greatest plays. Throughout the centuries since their first publication in 1609, critics, psychologists and curiosity-seekers alike have pondered the nature of the poet's relationships with the mysterious young man, "Mr. W.H.", and the "ill-coloured" Dark lady.
Raymond Chandler began his writing career at age 45. His muscular, fast-paced style set the standard for American hard-boiled mysteries. He distilled the essence of life in Southern California in the 1940s and 1950s. In The Long Goodbye, private eye Philip Marlowe befriends a down-on-his-luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, whom he's divorced and remarried. She ends up dead. Soon Lennox is on the lam, and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.
Marlowe is assigned to tail classy, well-endowed redhead Betty Mayfield - a cinch, he thinks, until lounge lizard Larry Mitchell turns up dead outside Betty's hotel room a few hours after pawing her in a California club. Filled with Chandler's famed snappy repartee and starkly frightening scenes, Playback simmers with suspense as Marlowe tries to solve a tale of big money - and, of course, murder.
"It doesn't get any better than this!"
The Little Sister, one of noir master Raymond Chandler's later novels, paints his darkest portrait yet of the underside of the City of Angels. Detective Phillip Marlowe is once again on the case, helping a "little sister", a sweet young girl from Kansas, find her missing brother in Tinseltown. A blackmailer and an ambitious starlet play key roles in this bleak tale, Chandler's savage indictment of the Hollywood dream factory.
"A Great Marriage of Talent"
So there I was, holed up in my office, trying to duck the bill collectors, when she walked in. She was the kind of sweet cookie that made your eyes water like you were hit with a 10-ton blackjack. She told me Raymond Chandler created the hard-boiled private eyes that rule American crime fiction, and this collection traces the genesis of Chandler's style in such stories as "Mandarin's Jade", "The Man Who Liked Dogs", and "Try the Girl".
Robert Altman - visionary director, hard-partying hedonist, eccentric family man, Hollywood legend - comes roaring to life in this rollicking cinematic biography, told in a chorus of voices that can only be called Altmanesque.
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.
"Wish it was unabridged"
Private eye John Dalmas sets out to rescue a rich young playboy from the clutches of a fortune-hunting redhead and a blackmailing gambler. But as he through the seamy underside of L.A.'s wealth and glitz, he keeps bumping into dead bodies.
"Not worth your money."
An instant classic when published in 1961, Joseph Heller's Catch-22 still ranks among the funniest - and most serious - novels ever written about war. Now Heller has dared to write the sequel to his 10-million copy best seller, using many of Catch-22's characters to deftly satirize the realities and the myths of America in the half century since they fought World War II.
Hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe follows the trail of a missing woman in Raymond Chandler's classic mystery tale. Experience Chandler's cool wit and taut language as his most famous character travels through the sunbaked streets of Southern California, unraveling a tangled web of murder and deception. Elliott Gould, who played Marlowe in Robert Altman's film version of The Long Goodbye, once again brings L.A.'s toughest private eye to life.
"Not Chandler's best. Convoluted plot."
"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch." Before there was Philip Marlowe, there was John Dalmas, a character very much like Marlowe. (In some later editions of this short story, the protagonist's name is actually changed to Marlowe's.) Here, he investigates a series of murders in classic hard-boiled fashion.
"Cool story, but overpriced!"
Elliott Gould, Burt Reynolds, Meryl Streep, and a host of other celebrities read over 100 poems by four of America's greatest poets. Walt Whitman celebrates the brash and rugged individualism of his country in exuberant language. The spare, precise language of Emily Dickinson conveys her penetrating vision of the natural world and an acute understanding of the most profound human truths.
Here are four classic mysteries from the master of the American detective story. "Killer in the Rain" and "The Curtain" are early works that laid the groundwork for the creation of the Philip Marlowe character. "Goldfish" and "Finger Man" feature Marlowe at his very best. A must-have collection for every Chandler fan.
"Old school detective stories... of great value."
Marlowe is back...and he's married to a rich, beautiful society lady who wants him to settle down in the posh desert community of Poodle Springs. Marlowe may have married rich, but old habits die hard: he's hired to recover a gambling debt and soon finds himself in a case involving bigamy, pornography and murder. The first four chapters of this final Marlowe mystery were written by noir master Raymond Chandler at the end of his life. Robert B. Parker was chosen by Chandler's estate to complete his last work.
"My Favorite of Chandler/Parker's Works"
Spenser crossed paths with Paul Giacomin a decade ago. Now Paul's mother has vanished, and he enlists Spenser's aid to find her. Following her trail to its astonishing conclusion, Spenser is led back through Paul's own rites of passage - along the lanes of his own memories. The boy Spenser was and the man Paul must race toward a confrontation that may break their hearts, and threaten their lives.
Most kids write stories. Only a few of them grow up to be successful authors. But before there was Carrie, there was Jhonathan and the Witchs. And before there was Rabbit Angstrom, Toyota Dealer, there was Manuel Cirarro, famous detective. Could we have seen the seeds of success in Stephen King's and John Updike's juvenilia? A funny and surprisingly informative gathering of childhood creations by today's most celebrated writers.
With a troubled past and a job that attracts too much attention from the law, John March has always been the black sheep of his staid merchant-banking family. That makes the identity of his latest client all the more surprising: his smug older brother, David. But when a body turns up, John finds that he's no longer searching for the woman stalking his brother. Now he's hunting a killer - along a trail that leads ever closer to his brother's door.
"Good book, bad reader"
The Sternwood family, immortalized in The Big Sleep, is in trouble again. Lovely Vivian's psychotic sister, Carmen, has disappeared from the sanitarium, and Vivian herself has once again fallen into the clutches of the shady underworld character Eddie Mars. Enter Philip Marlowe, the original tough-but-tender private eye, resurrected by Robert B. Parker, creator of his own phenomenally popular Spenser mystery series.
"PARKER CHANNELING CHANDLER"