Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Review of 'The Black Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel' by Benjamin Black

Finally got round to reading this - I'd been looking forward to it for a while, and I wasn't disappointed. Very well written, enjoyable - not a pastiche, just a continuation of the Marlowe character in his natural setting. That said, it's not Chandler; in some ways it's better - the plot is much tighter and makes more sense than The Big Sleep, for example. On the other hand, the style is a bit less gothic than Chandler's - there isn't the same strength of feeling or atmosphere in the places that there is in his writing.

There's a slightly more modern sensibility - while one of the gay characters is sleazy and unpleasant, there's another minor character who is probably gay and nice with it. I think Marlowe is rather more intellectual here than he was in Chandler's novels.

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