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Old 03-17-2010, 12:34 AM   #1
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Chandler, Raymond: Playback, v1, 17 March 2010.

Raymond Chandler [1888–1959]
Playback [1958]

From Wikipedia:
This novel puts Marlowe in the position of turning against his client. We are at the beginning of 1952 (some 18 months after the parting of Marlowe and Linda Loring in The Long Goodbye).
An unknown client hires Marlowe (via intermediaries) to follow a woman traveling under the name Eleanor King (whose real name is Betty Mayfield). Marlowe traces Mayfield to the small coastal resort town of Esmeralda in California, where he is given the runaround by practically everyone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playback_%28novel%29
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:13 PM   #2
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Caveat emptor. This was published shortly before Chandler's death.

I assume he just accepted payment to allow his name to be used. There is no way that Chandler wrote this. Not only is the style different and mediocre, but Marlowe jumps into bed with a woman at the very beginning. No way Chandler would have written that.

Maybe someone here knows the details of how this got to be published under Chandler's name.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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According to Wikipedia it started as a screenplay and was reworked into a novel. Certainly, it's not as good as the others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playback_%28novel%29
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for that link, Patricia.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:00 PM   #5
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As I recall Chandler is believed to have started it before his death and later another author finished it for him.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
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Bump.

Chandler wrote the book, and was still well and truly alive when it was published in 1958. In one of his letters to Helga Greene he comments on its success in the UK.

The one he started after that, but never completed, was "Poodle Springs."

Playback is not good Chandler, but that's no surprise. He had been an alcoholic much of his adult life, but had managed it fairly well; after the death of his wife Cissy he attempted suicide. From then on he slid into clinical depression and long bouts of drinking, during which he managed to write Playback. Its amazing it was written at all, and its easy to understand why it isn't good Chandler.
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