Farewell, My Lovelies: Three Faces of Philip Marlowe

 

Following on from a re-read of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely (reviewed here), I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed reading it again. One of Raymond Chandler’s best works, it’s a mean, dark story of a detective working his way through the rotting streets of Los Angeles. Tasked to find an ex-con’s former fiancé, a nightclub crooner called Velma Valento, Marlowe is dragged into a tale involving gangsters, crooked cops, psychic consultants, rich politicians, mysterious hold-ups and not to mention quite a few beatings around the head…

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it made a fairly swift transfer to the big screen – beginning with 1942’s The Falcon Takes Over – and holds the honour of being the Chandler novel which has been adapted the most times, with three film versions to its credit (The Big Sleep and The High Window scored two adaptions, with all the others having the one, save for Playback which never was made – rather ironically, given that it started life out as a screenplay rather than a novel). Owing to having a free weekend, not to mention a bit of a hangover to also work through, I nobly committed myself to spending a Saturday re-watching these three films with the view to doing a small comparison piece.

Here goes… Continue reading

Book Review: Farewell, My Lovely (Raymond Chandler)

Farewell, My Lovely

Raymond Chandler

1940

“I filled a pipe and reached for the packet of paper matches. I lit the pipe carefully. She watched that with approval. Pipe smokers were solid men. She was going to be disappointed with me.”

The second novel to feature private eye Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely is a defining piece of hardboiled detective fiction – a dark tale of love, violence and corruption in a world gone bad.

As with many of Chandler’s novels, Farewell, My Lovely came about as the result of his ‘cannibalising’ of three earlier short stories (which I have to admit to having yet to read): The Man Who Loved Dogs, Try the Girl, and Mandarin’s Jade. Each being self-contained stories, Chandler worked them into one complete narrative, and in doing so produced one of the finest books of his career. Continue reading

Book Review: More Faces (Simon Maltman)

More Faces

Simon Maltman

2017

God loves you” she said after me.

“God loves a trier.”

Traditionally, short stories are quite often the arena where writers learn their trade, cut their teeth and introduce audiences to both themselves and a number of characters who may or may not go on to feature in later works. Crime writers are particularly noted for establishing their careers in this way, and much of this is true for Irish author Simon Maltman, author of 2016’s A Chaser on the Rocks (reviewed here), which served up an entertaining slice of modern crime fiction. Continue reading