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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

'I know it sounds corny, but I could drill you and get away with it.'

'Okay,' I said thickly. 'For 50 bucks a day, I don't get shot. That costs 75.' 

Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is mixing business with pleasure - he's getting paid to follow a lovely mysterious redhead called Eleanor King. And wherever Miss King goes, trouble is sure to follow. But she's easy on the eye and Marlowe's happy to do as he's told. But one dead body later and what started out as a lazy afternoon's snooping soon becomes a deadly cocktail of blackmail, lies, mistaken identity - and murder.... 

Playback is Raymond Chandler's last full-length novel featuring laconic PI Philip Marlowe. 

©1958 Raymond Chandler (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since." (Paul Auster)

"Chandler grips the mind from the first sentence." (Daily Telegraph)

"One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards others still try to attain." (Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Playback

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Marlowe is back and to a real mystery

Although there are some short stories before The Big Sleep, it was this book that introduced me to private detective Philip Marlowe. And after reading / listening to all ‘his’ novels now, I think this is the only one which really gets back to the atmosphere in The Big Sleep.

The novel seems to die away at the end, particularly the explanation of a mysterious disappearance (I don’t want to give away any plot secrets). But maybe that’s because I’m just looking at it with ‘modern eyes’!

Also the narration by Scott Brick was amazing, incredible good diction and characterisations. But also in a way that almost made him ‘invisible’—like one was reading the novel oneself. Indeed after listening to Scott Brick’s performance I can’t buy other versions. They sound all wrong!

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Not the best Marlowe story, but worth a look

It is read with a strange intonation which jars and is unlike the usual Marlowe of other books and films. It detracts from the book and you never get used to it. There is the music between chapters that penguin seem to like at the moment, but it can generally be ignored, it is in no way appropriate.
The book is by Chandler, so it's worth reading. It isn't The Little Sister or the Long Goodbye, but still worth reading (better to read it than to listen to this version)