In his notebooks, the ever-inventive Raymond Chandler kept a list of possible titles for books, all of which we think deserve to be written. According to Chandler scholar Frank MacShane Chandler’s interest in titles even led him to invent a writer, Aaron Klopstein, who committed suicide by Amazonian blowgun, but not before publishing two volumes of poetry (The Hydraulic Facelift and Cat Hairs in the Custard), a short story collection (Twenty Inches of Monkey) and two novels (Once More the Cicatrice and The Seagull Has No Friends).
We reprint Chandler’s unused titles here as a service to writers. Our personal favourite at Five Dials has to be The Lady with the Truck, but they all have distinctive merits – and most pull off that hardest of tricks: suggesting a story while also grabbing the potential reader’s attention.
The Man with the Shredded Ear All Guns Are Loaded Choice of Dessert Return from Ruin Here It Is Saturday My Best to the Bride The Man Who Loved the Rain The Corpse Came in Person Law Is Where You Buy It The Porter Rose at Dawn We All Liked Al Fair With Some Rain They Only Murdered Him Once Too Late for Smiling The Diary of a Loud Check Suit Deceased When Last Seen Quick, Hide the Body A Night in the Ice Box Goodnight and Goodbye The Cool-Off Uncle Watson Wants to Think The Parson in the Parlor Stop Screaming – It’s Me No Third Act Twenty Minutes’ Sleep They Still Come Honest Between Two Liars The Lady with the Truck The Black-Eyed Blonde Rigadoo Thunder Bug Everyone Says Good-bye Too Soon