This book should be at the top of the list for “advanced” Chandler aficionados, especially those who haven’t revisited Chandler’s works in a while. Seeing Chandler’s actual passages alongside those of similar themes, across decades, creates wonderfully refreshing insight into just how individual and felicitous an author he was. Genuine literature in the guise of pulp storytelling.
Editor Barry Day, though excellent selection of excerpts and minimal connecting text, does a masterful job of focusing attention on just what made Chander special without imposing a particular viewpoint.
Those just starting to explore Chandler should stick with the complete works – the Library of America editions are excellent – then come to this book for reinvigoration a few years later.