Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Playback: A Graphic Novel Hardcover – July 13, 2006
Kindle Comics & Graphic Novel Deals
Browse the latest deals and special offers on digital comics and graphic novels from Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse, Image, and many more. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Chandler's 1948 screenplay was presumed lost until its rediscovery in Universal Studios' archives in the 1980s, although the author had adapted it into a Philip Marlowe novel in the meantime. More recently, a French publisher adapted it into a graphic novel that is now being presented in English for the first time. While the story has down the requisite cynicism, acerbic humor and casual violence of film noir, it lacks the compelling plots and timeless characters of the author's classic scripts. A whodunit centering on Betty Mayfield, a beautiful, doomed woman on the run from a troubled past, Playback starts promisingly enough with tough, brisk dialogue and the unusual Vancouver setting. Yet by the third act the plot is bogged down by its own dejected heroine, as Betty's permanent air of defeat proves more tiring than tragic. Despite Philippe Garnier's assertion in his introduction that the script was passed over due to the vicissitudes of the studio system, it's possible that an unrelenting gloom was the real culprit. Ayroles's art employs a stiff, angular woodblocklike style that does little to capture the dark eddies of Chandler's tale. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chandler was once approached about writing a newspaper strip. "I wouldn't know how to do it, and if I did I wouldn't want to," the notoriously crusty crime novelist retorted. Hence, this graphic novel adapts a never-produced screenplay, a murder mystery set in Vancouver shortly after World War II. A cad meets a woman fleeing her father-in-law, who thinks she murdered his son, though the trial judge set aside a guilty verdict. The heel gets her into a plush hotel, pushes himself too far, and later is found--by her--dead in her room. A pencil-mustached, monocled, war-hero police detective; a rich wastrel; the dead man's waspish older girlfriend; and an oleaginous PI are the other principals. Climax and denouement are more Hollywood than Chandler, but the tart, brusque, spoiled-romantic patter is breathtaking, and Ayroles' brutal artwork, akin to the blunt, high-contrast noir comics styles of fellow Frenchman Jacques de Loustal (Barney and the Blue Note, 1986), becomes more fitting with every frame. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The project of bringing to life Chandler's final effort is a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor and it is a pity that artists of the competence of R. G. Taylor ("Wordsmith") or Ted Slampyak ("Jazz Age Chronicles)," whose proven artistic mastery of bygone American eras was not chosen.
That development doesn't even seem plausible. Betty Mayfield is really a John Dickson Carr heroine thrust into a glamorous private eye tale--a woman suspected of having killed her husband, who can't shake the cloud of possible guilt and shame even at the border. Maybe Betty's escape from the cold eyes of her fellow Americans, into the relative peace of BC, paralleled Chandler's own border crossing in some private way unfelt by anyone but the author? Is going to Canada an act of nomadism, or just a furious psychic restlessness? Chandler's witty and acerbic dialogue is ably reproduced in these tiny balloons, but by the end you might be thinking, there's got to be some other novel more suitable for comic treatment? Maybe the old school Classics Illustrated artists knew best, the first law of that house was, We're not gonna do any book set entirely in a hotel, it would bore the reader.
The story was terrific. A young wife is officially exonerated of her husband's death, but fears retribution from his family who thinks she murdered him. She feels to Vancouver to escape them. While there, another death may be pinned on her. But who is the killer? The desolate young beauty? The aging socialite with the gun in her purse? The mysterious older gentleman? Someone else? The investigation is complicated when the inspector falls in love with one of the suspects.
The tale involves the same easy-to-miss plot points that adorn (bedevil?) old movies, and that need a second reading to pick up. This is not a problem, as it's fun to read a book, once the key to character behavior has been revealed, to see how you were fooled the first time around.
But I found the artwork distracting and hard to decipher. Rendered solely in black and white, without shades of gray, shadowed faces sometimes "read" as weird masks of spilled ink. The inconsistent drawing style made it difficult for me to keep the characters straight. Sometimes I had to look carefully for the one characteristic (an upturned mustache on Inspector Killaine, for instance) that helped identify the character.
I enjoyed the story's twists and the turns of logic that helped identify the killer. Not a standout work, as graphic novels go, but interesting and memorable. A written introduction tells the story of Chandler's star-crossed experience of writing the script.
Chandler buffs, comics buffs, and anyone up for a quick mystery should give it a read.
The story was great. It concerns a young woman who is exonerated of her husband's death. Fearing scrutiny from her husband's family, she goes to Vancouver. An inspector follows her and they fall in love. All might be well, but, just like any great film noir, the ending has a twist. This story is reminiscent of the days of the Golden age of Hollywood, with Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Cagney.
The artwork is stark black and white, without shades of gray. Overall it is quite impressive, but sometimes it can be hard to make out what is going on.
Anyway, if you are a serious comic book collector or a crime novelist aficionado and desire something unique for your collection, pick this up. This is a fine pick for a personal collection with quality production values.