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Playback (Philip Marlowe Series Book 7) by [Chandler, Raymond]
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Playback (Philip Marlowe Series Book 7) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 212 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description

About the Author

Best-known as the creator of the original private eye, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and died in 1959. Many of his books have been adapted for the screen, and he is widely regarded as one of the very greatest writers of detective fiction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 798 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 July 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9DI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The last and least known Marlowe. Most definitely the easiest plot to follow.

An overriding melancholy, as Marlowe, like Chandler, shows his age. It is 20 years since 'The Big Sleep'. 'Playback' reflects many social changes in this period. Chandler was 70 when he wrote this. He seems to struggle with the extent of the liberalisation that has occurred and how to place Marlowe in this environment.

This is especially true with the description of women. One minute a woman like Vivian Sternwood gave off an erotic chage with a scratch of her knee, but 'Nowadays, she's in the bed while you're struggling with your collar-button'.

After debuting as a 'hard-nose', turning into a 'shop-soiled Galahad', we now have a batchelor pining over the temps perdu. The young lovers, Jack and Lucille, with the symbolic 'unpretentious diamond ring', feature disproportionately as a counterpoint to Marlowe's own batchelor future.

Much more detective 'tradecraft' in this book. It's a very good read but it doesn't hit the heights.

It almost gets away with the idea of the sad lonely PI until Chandler 'bottles it' at the end. As a reader, I felt that reading 'Playback' was rather like 'completing the set' and, in truth, it felt like Chandler was doing the same.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Playback is the last completed Philip Marlowe novel, and somehow it feels that way. It lacks the intensity (and brilliance) of the earlier stories. Compared to such masterpieces as The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye this seems a rather shallow affair. However, if you like Chandler this is still very readable.
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Format: Paperback
First of all, let me just say that I am a big Raymond Chandler fan and think that he is one of the greatest detective novelists of all time; having said that, this book was a bit of a task to get through. I also need to say that it took me three attempts to get through it.

The whole book is rather dull and the plot meanders along without much happening; the characters are uninteresting and even Marlowe himself seems devoid of all personality. The ending resolution is unfulfilling and by the end, it seems that Chandler has taken an awfully long time to say nothing. However, certain sections are indeed quite interesting and towards the end, it definitely gets better.

I truly feel terrible for writing this, since I believe that most of Chandler’s other works are amazing, literary greats; but the truth is that this is his weakest book and it is sadly dull and forgettable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This one is the easiest plot to follow but that doesn't mean it isn't as good as the rest in the series. We're in classic Marlowe territory throughout and though this isn't in the same league as The Big Sleep or The Long Goodbye, it is nevertheless a great read.
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By Hamish Adam TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 July 2015
Format: Paperback
'Playback' was the only novel that the great Raymond Chandler wrote drunk. His first six novels were masterpieces and written entirely sober although he was clearly an alcoholic by the time he started work on his first novel. 'Playback' is his weakest by a country mile. It's hard to believe that this weakness was due only to his advancing years, general exhaustion and ill health. It is so very different from all the others that my feeling is that it was his alcoholism, over which he had finally lost all control, that was the reason for its relative mediocrity. It has the feel of a ghost written book, and not a very good one at that. Regardless, I have read it several times and enjoyed it each time. Would I have enjoyed it had I not read the first six magnificent novels? Probably not. But I had, and I did.

Raymond Chandler was one of the literary giants of the twentieth century. 'The Big Sleep' was perhaps his masterpiece, and all the others are also brilliant. 'Playback', was originally written for Universal as a screenplay. He adapted it into novel form purely because he needed the money. But it is still a good read. It is largely devoid of his usual literary flourishes and we don't get much of a feeling for Marlowe from it. It is half the length of his better works and there is very little of the vivid description and brilliant dialogue that characterize his other work. But it has his usual themes of class and corruption set in an ostensibly dignified Californian community - here it is La Jolla in San Diego which he calls Esmerelda in 'Playback'. Four stars for a weak novel written by one of the literary greats.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good book. The writing style is as enjoyable as the plot. The snappy dialogue and visual imagery make for an almost cinematic experience. Reflecting the social situation of the period it was written in, some modern readers may find some aspects jarring, but it takes only a minor effort to suspend such concerns. The many TV and film derivations make the setting seem at once familiar but this is the source and still shows the originality and skill that made it popular in the first place and demonstrates why all of Raymond Chandler's novels have had many screen adaptations.
Just as with P.G. Wodehouse in a Raymond Chandler the writing is deceptively simple and effortlessly enjoyable by dint of consummate ability with words. Just the right ones, in exactly the right order. For instance - 'she gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket' or 'the furniture had had a great deal of expense spared on it'. Cops, blondes, guns and murders, California in the 40s and an anti-hero in the shape of Philip Marlowe. I hope this reads like a 5 star recommendation - because that is what it is.
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