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Born in Nabraska of Irish Quaker parents, educated at Dulwich College, and in the `mean streets' of Los Angeles about which he wrote, Raymond Chandler-writer, oil executive, poet, recluse, charmer, gentlman, drunk-was full of contradictions as his origins. His seven Philip Marlowe stories had sold 5 million copies by the time of his death in1059. Since the first authorised biography 20 years ago, much new material can be revealed about the man and his life. For this major new biography, Tom Hiney has had some access to unseen personal papers, as well as previously unrecorded reminiscences by those who knew him well and he vividly evokes the strange early years, brings alive the danerous glamour of the Hollywood era, and puts Chandler`s writing in the context of the crime and corruption in Prohibition LA. He gives illuminating details of friendships with Ian Fleming, Somerset Maugham, the Spenders, Alfred Hitchcock and fully records for the first time his relationship with Cissy, his wife of 30 years, 17 years his senior, and his paradoxical relations with other women.
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