Raymond Chandler: Playback

(3611 words)

Published in 1958, Playback is Raymond Chandler’s final novel and the last farewell of his iconic hard-boiled detective, Philip Marlowe. The work was published five years after Chandler’s wife, Cissy Pascal, passed away, making the novel a product of the author’s infamously destructive self-indulgence during those years. Chandler’s biographer, Tom Hiney, suggests that the novel is the only book Chandler wrote “while actually drunk at the typewriter, in and out of psychiatric wards, and it is the funniest and most defiant of his stories, because Marlowe just doesn’t care anymore” (xvi). Hiney’s assessment of the novel is generous when compared with other accounts, as most critics identify Playback as …

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Howe, Alexander. "Playback". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 July 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2772, accessed 29 September 2016.]