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Not my favorite Chandler. Actually, my least favorite Chandler novel. However, since almost everything else he has written deserves to be carved on a tablet and made into a Noir religion, I guess saying this one doesn't rate well against his other masterpieces isn't saying much.
I think part of my disappointment with this novel is it just seems hard when it should be easy and easy when it should be hard. Maybe part of my problem with it was Chandler just seemed tired of L.A. and tired of Marlowe. He exports Marlowe into a new town (Esmerelda, aka La Jolla) but it all just doesn't work. I ended up not caring much about Marlowe or the dame or the book. Which is sad because I read most of this damn book sitting in a San Diego hotel's basement laundry. If there were EVER a place to enjoy 'Playback' THAT would have been it. Alas, no.
Anyway, if you are new to Chandler end here, don't start here. Go read:
The Big Sleep (1939)
Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
The High Window (1942)
The Lady in the Lake (1943)
The Little Sister (1949)
Trouble is my Business
The Long Goodbye (1953)
Any of those will give you more bang for you buck.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful
Not sure what happened with this last one. It's almost like he wasn't even the author of the first quarter of the book. The style is noticeably different, lacking all of Marlowe's trademark perspective. It's odd, to say the least. Sadly, I can't recommend this one. The rest are great.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Resident damsel in distress saving knight, in not so shining armor Philip Marlowe is at it again. This book is fairly thin both in length and in story substance. But I really don't mind. The hard boiled softie Marlowe is still going strong. He annoys and pleases the ladies in equal measures (and just annoys everyone else).
Raymond Chandler - as usual a master in building a confusing story without really hiding anything from the reader.
Ray Porter - just fantastic.
Yet again Ray Porter delivers a 1st rate performance as Chandlers' no nonsense California dick Phillip Marlowe. Although short by usual standards the story manages to pack in all the necessary fare that show Marlowe to be the flawed, arrogant though noble guy, constantly searching for the easy life, yet failing miserably due to his uncontrollable desire to come to the aid of yet another maiden in distress. Those damn Dames!?!? Brilliant
0 of 1 people found this review helpful