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When Marlowe slips through the cracks, we bring him Back in Black,
This review is from: The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel (Philip Marlowe Series) (Hardcover)
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A really good Noir/Hard-Boiled 40's style mystery is a task filled with problems for BOTH the writer and the reader.
Will it capture the proper mood?
Will it live up to the standards we have come to expect from the originals?
Will it, indeed, BE ANY GOOD?
Add to that, a work that tries to capture the style of, not only a GOOD writer, but, arguably, the BEST Noir/hard-boiled writer EVER, and you've got a formidable challenge.
So, how does Black (aka John Banville) do?
Anyone who has read any of the "Benjamin Black" books knows that there is no worries on the first 3 questions.
Black is a modern master who ALWAYS gives value for money.
BUT... how does he do "writing" as Raymond Chandler?
One is first tempted to answer that it doesn't matter, because who reads Chandler any more, any how?
I HOPE many, but I'm not convinced.
And, that's taking the easy way out.
No, this is NOT Raymond Chandler's Marlowe.
Almost, but not quite.
Which is NOT necessarily a bad thing as some of the "failing" is in a bit smarter writing, a little shrewder plotting.
Not Chandler's Marlowe... Black's Marlowe.
In the words of the old song: "Who could ask for anything more?"