Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Mysterious Something in the Light Hits British Bookstores

Many years in the making, Tom Williams's biography Raymond Chandler: A Mysterious Something in the Light was just released in the U.K. No U.S. version yet, though you can order it from a few booksellers here stateside. Curiously, while it is available in a Kindle edition, you can't download it in the US! So, I'm still waiting on my copy.

Reviews of biographies tend to talk more about the subject's life than the biography itself, and that seems even more pronounced with reviews of a Chandler biography, since he had such a compelling and unusual life story. But, here are the few snippets from the reviews that address Williams' work itself:
"Tom Williams does not trouble us with any startlingly new conclusions but his treatment is unfussy and shows how Chandler’s 'troubled childhood, his complicated family relationships, his profound awkwardness about sex and women and his battle with alcohol all variously frustrated, coloured and fuelled his writing'". — Christopher Silvester,
"Williams does not flinch from describing his subject’s faults but he lets his enthusiasm for the books shine through. He has unearthed little new material and his prose is pedestrian, but he knows the value of letting Chandler speak for himself. The nuggets from Chandler’s letters are wonderful."—Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph.
"The fascinating new biography, Raymond Chandler: A Mysterious Something In The Light by Tom Williams, which draws on many of his previously unpublished letters"--David Leaf, The Daily Mail

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