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Book Title: Poodle Springs|
The author of the book: Raymond Chandler
Edition: Berkley Trade
Date of issue: August 3rd 2010
Loaded: 1025 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
ISBN: No data
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 358 KB
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Robert B. Parker said that he started writing Spenser novels because he was a huge Phillip Marlowe fan and missed the detective after he’d read all the books and short stories. The Marlowe influence is all over the Spenser series, particularly the early books. So Parker was the natural pick to try and finish the last book that Raymond Chandler had started before his death.
Chandler had finished just four chapters, but he gave Parker a sweet set-up for the rest of the story. Marlowe and his new bride, socialite Linda Loring, return from their honeymoon and set up house in the wealthy desert resort town of Poodle Springs. Despite marrying a very rich woman with a powerful father, Marlowe is determined to remain his own man by continuing to work as a detective.
Before he even gets a chance to set up an office, he has an offer from an illegal gambling club owner named Lipschultz who made the mistake of taking an IOU for a hundred grand from Les Valentine. Lipschultz thought Valentine was good for the money because he is married to Muffy Blackstone, another wealthy woman. Unfortunately, Valentine hasn’t been seen since, and Muffy refuses to pay the debt. Lipschultz wants Marlowe to track down Valentine before he gets in hot water with his bosses for being $100,000 short.
As Marlowe starts trying to track down Valentine, things get worse with his new marriage. Linda can’t understand why Marlowe has involved himself with seedy business among a group of lowlifes when she has more money than they could ever spend. Marlowe even sometimes wistfully thinks that he could be home with cocktails by the pool with Linda instead of playing detective, but he’s terrified of losing his self respect if he becomes a kept man. (Personally, if I had latched onto a beautiful sugar mama, I’d be poolside with her constantly while offering chocolates and back rubs to keep her happy. Marlowe’s got more will power than I do.)
Parker does a nice job with following through on the action that Chandler set up, particularly on the tension between Linda and Marlowe. The idea of a couple that loves each other yet finds it impossible to maintain a ‘traditional’ relationship is something that Parker would use in other books, but it works very well here with the stubborn Marlowe realizing that just living off his wife would make him lose the very qualities she loved in the first place. There’s also another common Parker theme of a ‘good’ woman loving a ‘bad’ man that motivates Marlowe to try and help them both.
The mystery angle is pretty good with murder and blackmail entering the mix. Parker also works in some standard Marlowe stuff like him getting on the bad side of both cops and gangsters and refusing to budge an inch from his own personal code as he doles out smart ass remarks to almost everyone around him.
I give Parker credit for taking on a big challenge and giving a fitting ending to Chandler’s uncompleted work.
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Read information about the authorRaymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.
In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.
Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Chandler's Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, are considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective," both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.
Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".
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