October 24

This Day in History

Literary

Oct 24, 1958:

Raymond Chandler starts his last novel

On this day, mystery writer Raymond Chandler starts working on his last novel, The Poodle Springs Story, but he will die before completing it.

Chandler was born in 1888 in Chicago. He was raised in England, where he went to college and worked as a freelance journalist for several newspapers.

During World War I, Chandler served in the Royal Flying Corps. After the war, he moved to California, where he eventually became the director of several independent oil companies. He lost his job during the Depression and turned to writing to support himself at the age of 45. He published his first stories in the early 1930s in the pulp magazine Black Mask and published his first novel, The Big Sleep, in 1939. He published only seven novels, among them Farewell My Lovely (1946) and The Long Goodbye (1953), all featuring tough, cynical detective Philip Marlowe. William Faulkner wrote the screen version of The Big Sleep, which starred Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlow.

Chandler also wrote Hollywood screenplays in the 1940s and early 50s, including Double Indemnity (1949) and Strangers on a Train (1951). He died in March 1959.

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