Review: Trouble Is My Business and Other Stories by Raymond Chandler


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Penguin, 1950. Reprinted 1983. Paperback format. The stories in this volume first appeared in various American magazines between 1933 and 1939. They were first issued in book form in the U.S.A. in 1946. ‘Trouble is my Business’ in a volume entitled Spanish Blood, the reminder in a volume entitled Red Wind, This is the first volume publication in Great Britain. ISBN: 0-1400-0741-5. Pages: 248.

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In July 2010, Patty Abad kindly published the following note I wrote about Trouble Is My Business which I offer here:

When Patty Abbott asked me if I would care to contribute with a favourite book of mine to Friday’s Forgotten Books, I did not think twice. I’m also most grateful for this opportunity to re-read a long time favourite, an almost forgotten book on my bookshelves: Trouble is My Business by Raymond Chandler. Penguin 1950. 248 pages. ISBN: 0.14.00.0741.5. http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780140109801,00.html#reviews

This is a collection of short stories that were first published in various American magazines:

– “Trouble is My Business” (August 1939, Dime Detective Magazine)

– “Red Wind” (January 1938, Dime Detective Magazine)

– A non-detective story “I’ll Be Waiting” (October 14, 1939, Saturday Evening Post)

– “Goldfish” (June 1936, Black Mask),

– And “Guns at Cyrano’s” (January 1936, Black Mask)

My copy is dated in 1982 and I probably read it back in 1986. Each story does not provide only an idea of Chandler’s writing but it also raises our interest on each tale. They are not simple sketches of Chandler’s later masterpieces, but they hold their own rights.

I highly recommend all of them but if I have to highlight just one this will be “Red Wind” which is probably best known for its opening lines: “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. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

Red Wind opens with private-eye John Dalmas (in my copy, changed later to Marlowe), sitting in front of a glass of beer at a cocktail bar. There is only one other customer, besides the bartender, a drunkard playing checkers with his empty glasses of straight rye whiskey. The quietness of the place is interrupted when a dark guy rushes in asking for a lady. “Tall, pretty, brown hair, in a print bolero jacket over a blue crepe silk dress.” And not only Dalmas/Marlowe but the reader as well is shaken by this description. At this stage the drunkard swept a gun from somewhere and shot the dark guy. “So long, Waldo,” he said and slid towards the door. Dalmas/Marlowe regrets he did not have a gun. “I hadn’t thought I needed one to buy a glass of beer.”

I don’t want to give away more of the plot. If you have already read it I hope I have encouraged you to read it again. If you have not read it yet just go and get it, you will not be disappointed.

The Raymond Chandler Web Site: http://home.comcast.net/~mossrobert/

The original post is here.

Penguin (UK) The stories in this collection are Trouble Is My Business (Dime Detective, August 1939), Red Wind (Dime Detective, January 1938), I’ll Be Waiting (Saturday Evening Post, October 14, 1939), Goldfish (Black Mask, June 1936), and Guns at Cyrano’s (Black Mask, January 1936).

Vintage Crime / Black Lizard (US) The stories in this collection are Trouble Is My Business (Dime Detective, August 1939), Finger Man (Black Mask, October 1934), Goldfish (Black Mask, June 1936), and Red Wind (Dime Detective, January 1938).

Raymond Chandler’s short stories 

John Dalmas at The Thrilling Detective Web Site 

Ted Malvern/Ted Carmady 

Los problemas son mi negocio de Raymond Chandler

En julio de 2010, Patty Abbot publicó amablemente la nota que escribí sobre Trouble Is My Business que ofrezco aquí:

Cuando Patty Abbott me preguntó si no me importaría contribuir con uno de mis libros favoritos a Friday’s Forgotten Books, no me lo pensé dos veces. También le quedé muy agradecido por la oportunidad de volver a leer uno de mis libros favoritos de toda la vida, un libro que tenía casi olvidado en mi biblioteca: Trouble Is My Business, Penguin, 1950. 248 páginas. ISBN: 0.14.00.0741.5. http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780140109801,00.html#reviews

Se trata de una coleccion de relatos que fueron publicadas originalmente en varias revistas norteamericanas:

– “Los problemas son mi negocio” (agosto de 1939, Dime Detective Magazine)

– “Viento rojo” (enero de 1938, Dime Detective Magazine)

– Una historia no policíaca “Te estaré esperando” (14 de octubre de 1939, Saturday Evening Post)

“Peces de colores” (1936 junio Black Mask), y

– “Pistolas en Cyrano’s” (enero de 1936, Black Mask)

Mi ejemplar es de 1982 y probablemente lo leí por pimera vez en 1986. Cada historia no sólo nos proporciona una idea de la obra de Chandler, sino que además aumenta nuestro interés por cada cuento. No son simples bocetos de posteriores obras maestas de Chandler, sino que tienen derecho propio.

Les recomiendo todas, pero si tengo que destacar sólo una ésta sería Viento Rojo, que es probablemente más conocida por sus primeras líneas: “Esa noche soplaba un viento del desierto. Era uno de esos vientos de Santa Ana cálidos y secos que bajan por los puertos de montaña y te rizan el pelo y te hacen saltar los nervios y te causan picor en la piel. En noches como esa cada fiesta alcohólica termina en pelea. Pequeñas y mansas mujeres acarician el filo del cuchillo de trincahr y observan el cuello de sus maridos. Cualquier cosa puede pasar. Incluso puede que consigas una cerveza en un cocktail-bar.” (Mi traducción libre)

Red Wind comienza con el detective privado John Dalmas (en mi ejemplar, cambiado posteriormente a Marlowe), sentado delante de un vaso de cerveza en un bar de copas. Sólo hay otro cliente, además del camarero, un borracho que juega a las damas con los vasos vacíos de puro whiskey de centeno. La tranquilidad del lugar es interrumpida cuando un tipo de piel oscura entra corriendo preguntando por una dama. “Alta, guapa, cabello castaño, con una chaqueta bolero estampada sobre un vestido de seda en crepe azul.” Y no sólo Dalmas/Marlowe, también el lector queda impresionado por esa descripción. En ese momento el borracho sacó una pistola de algún sitio y le disparó al hombre de piel oscura. “Hasta luego, Waldo,” le dijo y se deslizó por la puerta. Dalmas/Marlowe lamenta no llevar un arma. “No había pensado que iba a necesitar una para pedir una jarra de cerveza.”

No quiero revelar más de la trama. Si ya lo han leído espero que les haya animado a leerlo de nuevo. Si no lo han leído todavía sólo tiene que ir a buscarlo, no van a sentirse decepcionados.

Pueden visitar el sitio web de Raymond Chandler en http://home.comcast.net/~mossrobert/

Aquí pueden ver mi entrada original.

RBA – Todos los cuentos de Raymond Chandler

4 thoughts on “Review: Trouble Is My Business and Other Stories by Raymond Chandler

  1. Good stuff, JI! I hadn’t realized the contents of the US and UK versions differed so greatly.

    The Penguin cover illustration definitely has a touch of the Mitchums to it, doesn’t it? I imagine the illustrator was trying subtly to remind us of the Mitchum Farewell, My Lovely, released just a few years earlier, in 1975.

  2. I have the Penguin edition with the Mitchum cover (which in terms of his looks really belongs to his film OUT OF THE PAST, released in 1947) – RED WIND is very memorable, though it’s quite possible that in that opening line Chandler was being a bit parodic, as memorable as it is.

  3. Pingback: Monthly Summary (September 2014) | The Game's Afoot

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