Customer Reviews

82
3.7 out of 5 stars
The Black Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:£14.88+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 13 December 2014
This is a beautifully written sequel to Raymond Chandler's Marlowe detective. The title
was taken from Chandler's notes after he died and Black has worked from that starting point.
The denouement is a little confusing and lets the story down a little. The characters are
well drawn with some psychological perspective. It would be a good Christmas read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Here we have John Banville writing as Benjamin Black in the style of Raymond Chandler. This latest take on updating well-known characters in fiction works well enough if you like ersatz thrillers, but you have to wonder who it's aimed at. Chandler purists will surely scoff at any attempt to take on perhaps the most iconic private eye of all time, and new readers will need to be familiar with Chanlder's original novels to make much sense of this.

Essentially, Black offers us a "what happened next" after the conclusion of 'The Long Goodbye', weaving in characters and a plot linked loosely from his last full length work (excluding Playback here). You can't take it away from Black that he writes well enough in the style that Chandler pretty much made his own, but it's still quite thin in places. The sense of time and place that Chandler developed so well in his books is weak in comparison, and Marlowe seems more well-read and ruminative as a character than he was in the originals. Still, if anyone was going to pull it off reasonably well, it would be Banville/Black, who brings the same sense of style to his Quirke novels.

The plot becomes Chandleresque enough - convoluted, unlikely and in need of some explanation as we head towards the finale, but it lacks something to really make the book feel like it belongs to the original series, so in that sense it reads as something of an oddment.

The publicity blurb on the early-release Vine editions makes brave claims for this book - that it will appeal to Chandler fans and new readers alike. Wrong. Anyone not having read any of Chandler's works (especially The Long Goodbye) will struggle to make any sense of what's going here, so that's a very misleading claim - probably written by a young gun in marketing who has never read anything by Chandler at all.

Apart from cashing in on the iconic nature of Marlowe, it's hard to really see what else this "return" of one of fiction's most influential characters will achieve for publishers and readers. As with most projects like this, re-reading the originals is preferable, despite the respect and skill that Black has brought to the craft of writing it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Cool read in the style of Chandler, most enjoyable and would recommend it to other fans. Looking out for the next one
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 21 June 2014
This was full of Raymond Chandler style and reference, but what was really interesting was the voice of John Banville/Benjamin Black throughout. Quirky and a good story too.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
As I read this book I could hear Humphrey Bogart (and see) as the story progressed, it had more modern hints in it but as far as I am concerned as good as the originals.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 24 May 2014
Any Chandler fan should love this sequel to The Long Goodbye - I hope the author is able to write another.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 9 May 2014
Its ok, but you know you are reading a pastiche rather than the real thing.

Often there is a bit too much information about Marlowe and his life. I think Chandler had some of the inner Phil, the historic how Marlowe got to be the guy he is, but it was used sparingly

And, umm, the wild goose chase for the lost lover - Vilma, Terry, Rusty - I guess that is a Chandler motif, but his joy is you don't realize it, and it is different every time. Here it is signalled from p1, such is the conventional plotting.

But, for an addict even methadone will do.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 24 April 2014
Pace, wit, humour. Add to your summer reading list and vacation bag.

It's a must for lovers of great thriller writing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 23 April 2014
I suppose it's comparatively easy to replicate post-war downtown L.A. with its bars and clubs along with its snarling overweight city tecs but harder to match the tone and style of Chandler's great Marlowe stories. I think Benjamin Black has done a good job. Too many references to gimlets and alcohol generally as well as the never-ending smoking but that's how it was in the original stories. And the blonde was as enigmatic as you could wish for.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 15 April 2014
I enjoyed reading it and playing the game of "would Chandler have done this bit like this?" and overall it just about works. the strange unbelievable bits are there like being hit on the head with a blackjack means that Marlow is unconscious until the start of the next chapter when he wakes with a lump on his head. The class and money-isms and sexism are all done right. I can't say about the geography and climate of California. The plot winds its way between unlikely and unlikeable characters and that's ok. The drinks get drunk in slightly desperate gulps. And Marlowe is not quite Marlowe but I still feel sorry for the poor sap and I want it to be a little bit better for him. Perhaps it will work out better in the next one, he might even get paid.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Holy Orders: Quirke Mysteries Book 6 (Quirke 6)
Holy Orders: Quirke Mysteries Book 6 (Quirke 6) by Benjamin Black (Paperback - 8 May 2014)
£6.39

The Big Sleep
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (Paperback - 15 Jun. 2011)
£6.28

Christine Falls: Quirke Mysteries Book 1
Christine Falls: Quirke Mysteries Book 1 by Benjamin Black (Paperback - 15 Aug. 2013)
£6.39
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.