Playback, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Playback is a classic novel by Raymond Chandler, the master of hard-boiled crime.

Stalking the tawdry neon wilderness of forties and fifties Los Angeles, Raymond Chandler's hard-drinking, wise-cracking Phillip Marlowe is one of the world's most famous fictional detectives.

Playback finds Marlowe mixing business with pleasure - getting paid to follow a mysterious and lovely red-head named Eleanor King. And wherever Miss King goes, trouble seems to follow.

But she's easy on the eye and Marlowe's happy to do as he's told, all in the name of chivalry, of course.

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..."Anything Chandler writes about 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). "Chandler is an original stylist, creator of a character as immortal as Sherlock Holmes". (Anthony Burgess). Best-known as the creator of the original private eye, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and died in 1959. Many of his books have been adapted for the screen, and he is widely regarded as one of the very greatest writers of detective fiction.

His books include The Big Sleep, The Little Sister, Farewell, My Lovely, The Long Good-bye, The Lady in the Lake, Playback, Killer in the Rain, The High Window and Trouble is My Business.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780241956250



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To a certain extent, the sumptuous atmosphere of Chandler's stories rely upon the setting - the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles. This final novel moves elswhere, a sort of Holiday on the Buses-style jaunt that retains the witty repartee between Marlowe and his various acquaintances but loses a little soul on the way to Esmerelda. As for the plot - the resolution is pretty rushed. Sad that such a great character bows out like this.

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