"When in doubt, have a man come through
the door with a gun in his hand."
A man fired by an oil company, a self-taught pulp writer, a witness to the rapid sprawl of Los Angeles in the early 20th century, Raymond Chandler was as hard-boiled as his prose.
The acolyte of Dashiell Hammett is known by history as one of the greatest detective writers of all time. Though he carried himself as fiercely anti-intellectual, he also read with respect the literary fiction of Henry James and Charles Dickens. His real inspiration, though, was the gritty pulp writers of the 20th century's dawn. He learned to reverse engineer their narratives, and himself spun the famous novels The Long Goodbye, The Big Sleep, and Farewell, My Lovely. If the names of these works resonate, they do so less than Chandler's famed protagonist, Philip Marlowe.
The ever-sardonic Marlowe is introduced in The Big Sleep as a jaded detective. He's tall and virile, and in the course of his first-person narration, often reveals a concern for feeling and being masculine. He's usually taken aback by female characters, and often describes their physical attributes with glib one-liners.
Marlowe was brought to the airwaves in 1947 in The Adventures of Philip Marlowe. Gerald Mohr is the best-known voice of the detective.
In "The Persian Slippers," Marlowe is on the hunt for a disappeared wife; in "Where There's a Will," a map seems to point the may to $300,000; in "The Restless Day," Marlowe investigates the murder of an inventor; and in "The Unfair Lady," Marlowe pursues a bandit in a Mexican diamond mine.
Volume 1-3 of this collection are The Adventures of Philip Marlowe and Vol. 4 contains special episodes based on the Chandler stories from various series such as Hollywood Star Time, Lux Radio Theater, Molle Mystery Theater, and Suspense.