Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Marlowe: Back To The Future

The Black-Eyed Blonde – Benjamin Black (Macmillan Audio)

Legendary mystery writer Raymond Chandler’s equally legendary private dick Philip Marlowe has once again been through a literary resurrection, this time by the very skillful hands of John Banville writing under his pseudonym, Benjamin Black for The Black Eyed Blonde.

Black weaves a highly entertaining yarn, perfectly capturing a bygone era where men where men and women were dames. Some may find it hard to fathom a pre-second hand smoke era when people fired up in public places, where whiskey was consumed for its medicinal purposes and real men sipped gin gimlets. Not mention the very simple fact that cases were solved utilizing shoe leather, asking questions and trying to connect the facts rather than internet searches and a few smart phone calls.
Banville’s version of Marlowe could never measure up to the original and if you use that as your starting pace, then you won’t be disappointed. He turns out prose with classic style as he talks about the effect the title character’s shimmering silk dress can have on a man.

For this audio version of the book, veteran character actor Dennis Boutsikaris does a solid job of delivering a larger than life presence to the Marlowe character; he’s big a blustery when he needs to be and tender and vulnerable when it’s called for.

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