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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short thriller, 21 April 2012
This review is from: Playback (Paperback)
Playback is, by far, Raymond Chandler's shortest novel and can almost be read as a kind of postscript to the much thicker The Long Goodbye, or a sort of love-letter (or farewell) to his fictional detective Philip Marlowe.

The plot is paper-thin and doesn't make much sense. However, this doesn't seem to matter very much in this, or any other Chandler thriller. Characterisation, wit and dialogue are all razor-sharp and the author paints a wholly evocative picture of Californian life, paying as much attention to trendy restaurants overlooking the ocean as to a back alley shack where the hotel parking attendant lives.

Chandler wrote Playback right at the end of his life and it is as if he is paying tribute to his chief character. For once, the twist in the tale is a happy ending. P.I. Marlowe doesn't get hit on the head or drugged as much as usual and in the last sentence, the air 'is full of music', blocking out the sound of the phone ringing with a call from an angry client.

Farewell, Philip Marlowe. You were much loved.
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Location: Berkshire, England

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