Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Regular readers might remember last year that I read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. A book enjoyed immensely until the end when I was struggling reading it through a heavy cold and sore throat. So bad it was that wife/daughter didn’t mention “man flu” once. And yet as I loved the novel I wanted to finish it, which given my condition was a mistake.
Anyway the above clearly makes me an expert on all things Chandler and so made me confident to read this.
|Apologies For The Blurring|
Published in 1988 for the centenary of Chandler’s birth this book was a collection of short stories featuring Philip Marlowe written by the leading crime writers of her day such as Sarah Paretsky and Simon Brett with the last story by Raymond himself showing the latterday young whippersnappers how it should be done.
And I say that because it was a disappointment. There were various reasons for this. One was because some tried to out Marlowe Marlowe as if the writers involved thought they were in a metaphor writing competition.
Others didn’t seem to bother with the style. Why were they there at all?
And some took absolute liberties. There was swearing in one and in another private eye Phillip Marlowe met Bertolt Brecht. Bertolt Brecht? Do me a favout.
The crime stories here were also too short. You could whip most of them down to this. Marlowe is given problem. Marlowe confronts problem. Marlowe deals with problem. Trouble is in a short story it’s just too rushed. Probably no coincidence that the Chandler story (The Pencil) was the longest in the set.
But ultimately there was one reason why these writers failed.
There’s only one Raymond Chandler.