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The Black-Eyed Blonde

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  1,641 ratings  ·  391 reviews
Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career

"It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below,
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2014)
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Mike Gustin Not really. It would be helpful to read Chandler's books The Long Goodbye and Playback first.…moreNot really. It would be helpful to read Chandler's books The Long Goodbye and Playback first.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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James Thane
As a general rule, I avoid reading books in which a new author takes over an established character from another author who has died or retired. The whole idea of taking over someone else's series seems somehow wrong to me on a number of levels, and I've never read one yet in which I thought that the new author really did justice to the series or the characters.

Given that, I would have totally ignored this book in which Benjamin Black resurrects Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe who is, of course
Marlowe is tasked with tracking down a man who up until recently was believed to be dead. However, it’s those who are also on the missing man’s trail that will prove to be Marlowe’s biggest challenge. Can Marlowe find his man before two mean Mexicans do or did ol’ Phil bite off more than he could chew?

After Robert B. Parker finished up with Chandler’s iconic character in the early nineties with his sequel to The Big Sleep, “Perchance to Dream” (a review from The New York Times suggested an alter
Gerard Cappa
I was determined to enjoy this from the moment I heard about it.
John Banville has been my favourite living writer since the 80's, when my reading diet was almost completely restricted to an Irish menu, and before I got the noir bug. Then, when I converted to noir as an eager disciple, Chandler was my first Master.
So, when Banville felt the need to scratch the itch of thrills and spills through his new Benjamin Black persona, and then got the nod for a new Marlowe, I knew hatches would be battene
Resurrecting iconic literary characters is tricky business and when John Banville (under the pseudonym Benjamin Black) signed on to write another Philip Marlowe novel, I was worried. Most people know I am a huge fan of Marlowe, the hard-boiled detective created by Raymond Chandler, but something in me had to know if The Black-Eyed Blonde was any good. Now I’m left to decide if to review this as a Philip Marlowe novel or cliché pulp.

The premise is simple; a blonde bombshell, Clare Cavendish, seek
I recognize well-written noir when each sentence feels like a story unto itself; strung together those sentences form a book that feels somehow "more" than any other out there. "The Black-Eyed Blonde" is such a book. Black manages to mimic the style of one of the best-known authors of the 20th-century while still keeping a distinct voice. And Raymond Chandler fans will be happy to see Phillip Marlowe back roaming the mean streets of L.A. There's a sultry femme fatale, a sinister philanthropist, ...more
Benjamin Thomas
It’s difficult to imagine being handed the task of writing a Philip Marlowe novel. Raymond Chandler, the original author is now such an icon of classic crime/noir fiction that it would just be too daunting for most authors to attempt. On the other hand, what an honor to be asked to do so! Benjamin Black (pseudonym of Man Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville) was an excellent choice in my opinion as he captures much of what we readers look for in a Marlowe novel.

Set in early 1950’s LA, of
I loved Raymond Chandler’s books. I also love John Banville/Benjamin Black. Add them together and the result is a funny smart new age continuation of gum shoe Philip Marlowe’s adventures. Unfortunately and wonderfully Marlowe’s attitude and luck haven’t changed. Nor has his luck. As always there’s a woman at the heart of the shenanigans and she’s rich and beautiful and has Marlowe wrapped around her lovely little finger. The result is that our friend Marlowe gets roughed up, lied to, hustled by ...more
So, I’m a huge Raymond Chandler fan and thus this is a book I was unbelievably wary of. Somehow it’s okay for later authors to write new James Bond novels. The originals are entertaining, but not a huge literary triumph and besides – because 007 is these days more of a film phenomenon than a character from battered old spy novels – we’ve all got used to there being a new James Bond story every couple of years anyway. Philip Marlowe is different. The books are consciously literary, albeit in a wo ...more
Benjamin Black, el alias «negro» del escritor irlandés John Banville, ha demostrado estar a la altura del encargo que le hicieron los herederos de Raymond Chandler de continuar con la saga de Philip Marlowe, el detective más cínico de la literatura policiaca, al que todos identificamos con el gran Humphrey Bogart, el único Marlowe posible, según el escritor venezolano Juan Carlos Chirinos. Discrepo de los chandlerianos que opinan que al Marlowe de Black/Banville le falta cinismo: rebosa un cinis ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Ubiquitousbastard rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People that don't read Raymond Chandler
As a self-proclaimed Raymond Chandler expert, I read this book with an exceptionally critical eye, and what resulted was a two star book rating. Maybe I read it too closely, because I can see how it might have been an okay book, if only it weren't supposed to be a Marlowe one. For me, this was like a strange imitation Chandler, but not a parroting. It was more like the book was parading about in the skin of a Chandler book, and sometimes it would look like Chandler, but then I would notice a gl ...more
Really good.
Very fast paced and great tough guy atmosphere.
Cant really compare Benjamin Black to Raymond Chandler.
But taken as a story in the same genre it is really good.
Action packed!
Josiah Hawkins
It was the cover of this book that first drew me in when I saw it lofted up onto the "New Mystery" section at my local Barnes and Noble. Maybe it was the Marilyn Monroe esque face or the bright and bold titles but there was something that made me need to pick it up. I was even more thrilled when I learned that it was a detective story set in the early fifties (I hadn't heard of Phillip Marlowe before this book) and I knew that at some point I was going to need to buy this book.

A couple of month
In this new addition to the Phillip Marlowe series, a stunning, married, blonde - Clare Cavendish - asks Marlowe to look into the disappearance of her lover, Nico Peterson. Turns out Nico is dead, killed by a hit-and-run driver. But wait! Clare has seen Nico walking around San Francisco. Why didn't Clare just tell Marlowe that in the first place? Because the devious beauty needs to manipulate and seduce Marlow into helping her. Thus we have the set-up for our noir thriller. Marlowe sets out to f ...more
1950s. A stunning blonde walks into a P.I.’s office. No need to know more to know what you are gonna get. This an old-school novel of P.I. + femme fatale + he doesn’t know what the hell he’s getting into. Black has been compared to Chandler which is probably the best compliment a noir writer can get but also a double-edged sword for those expecting the same level of greatness from the “pupil”. Because I do everything backwards (blame Lufthansa, for cancelling my flight and leaving me to wait at ...more
One of the most interesting things about books is the way that two people can read the same thing and have such different reactions. This applies not just to the implications or moral of a story, but even to the characters themselves. My Pillip Marlowe is, for better or worse, not Benjamin Black's Marlowe, and The Black-Eyed Blonde, despite trying hard to hit all the right notes, just didn't come together for me.

If this weren't presented as a Marlowe book (and if it didn't carry the many allusi
Kristine Brancolini
I zipped through The Black-Eyed Blonde in one day. It was a pleasant read and sometime about a third into the book, I forgot that I was reading Benjamin Black. It wasn't exactly Raymond Chandler, but it was close. The tone and style were completely different from a Quirke book. Then again, I'm not sure you could find two more dissimilar cities than Dublin and Los Angeles. I agree with reviewers who say that it would have been better if I had read The Long Good-bye first. This book definitely bui ...more
Justin Sorbara-Hosker
Another one of those qualified 4 stars, probably a 3.5-3.75, but whatever. This is good enough to get a 4.

If you're going to go imitate another writer, & create a new story featuring his character, the degree of difficulty in writing a new Marlowe story must have been daunting - but Black (Banville) pulls it off. Mostly because he seems to know his limitations. He clearly knows his Chandler inside and out (especially The Long Goodbye, but more on that later), but he also knows enough to not
perfectly pleasent evocation of raymond chandler's mean streets and broken dreams of la la land in 1950's
we got hot, deadly women, fake deaths, horse mafia from down south, even some fire and torture

but on a happier note, this damn opac is getting incrementally better

An homage to Raymond Chandler and Philip Marlowe. A gorgeous blonde dame saunters into Marlowe's office in Bay City. It is the early 1950s and Marlowe is bored enough to take on Clare Cavendish's case -- searching for a lost boyfriend. But, is he? Soon, clues are falling out of the woodwork and Marlowe is beaten up and left puzzling over who stands to benefit the most. Is Nico Peterson really missing, but when his sister turns up dead, Marlowe has to take on the leading families of Bay City.
Ο Φίλιπ Μάρλοου είναι ο αγαπημένος μου ιδιωτικός ντετέκτιβ και είναι πάντα χαρά μου να διαβάζω ιστορίες με τα κατορθώματα του. Αυτός μπορεί να μην είναι ο αυθεντικός Μάρλοου, σκιαγραφημένος δηλαδή από την πένα του Ρέιμοντ Τσάντλερ, όμως ποιοτικά είναι σε υψηλό και ικανοποιητικότατο επίπεδο. Πάντα υπάρχουν υπέρ και κατά όταν ένας συγγραφέας (όσο καλός και αν είναι), γράφει μια ιστορία με ήρωα που έχει δημιουργήσει ένας άλλος συγγραφέας, στο συγκεκριμένο όμως τα υπέρ είναι πολύ περισσότερα από τα ...more
Benjamin Black (John Banville) has written a fine Philip Marlowe novel. He captures Marlowe's voice very effectively (more so than Robert B. Parker did years ago) and the plot builds on one of the great Marlowe novels. The plot begins with the classic Marlowe moment. Marlowe's in his office and a very goo looking woman walks in, asks him to trace her missing boy friend, and gives him incomplete information about how to do the job. She obviously comes from real money and the boy friend obviously ...more
Gloria Feit
John Banville, the Irish author here writing under his pen name of Benjamin Black, has written a book certain to give exquisite pleasure to the many fans of Raymond Chandler and his creation, LA private detective Philip Marlowe with a reputation as a “thinking man’s detective.”. The masterful re-imagining is evident from the first words: “It was one of those Tuesday afternoons in summer when you wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the air of something that kno ...more
El detective mas famoso del sucio submundo Angelino ha vuelto y es qye al igual que pasó hace pocos años con Shelock Holmes y "La Casa de la Seda", nos encontramos con una novela oficial y aprobada por los herederos de Chandler, para que otro autor vuelva a traernos una historia de un personaje que murió con su autor.

Y eso nos encontramos ente manos, la 10ª novela del detective Philip Marlowe, enfrascado en una investigación que le llegara de manos de una femme fatale rubia de ojos negros, capaz
THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE. (2014). Benjamin Black. ****.
This is not one of Black’s series novels featuring his character Quirke. Instead, Mr. Black (pseudonym of John Banville) has written a crime novel in the style of Raymond Chandler. In fact, his hero in this book is named Philip Marlowe. After you have read the first two pages of this terrific novel, you would swear that this was a recently discovered novel by Chandler himself; the style and dialog are perfect reflections of Chadler’s. The plot
Robert Intriago
A well written book just like you would expect from a Booker Award winner. This is your typical Marlowe story: helpless female, at least that is what she starts as, seeks assistance from the "macho" detective. Your usual type of characters from bad ones to dumb enough to help in the crime. Add to that clueless policeman and you have the ingredients for a Raymond Chandler redo. Mr. Black, nee Banville, does a wonderful job of weaving a pretty realistic story with lots of twists and mystery, but M ...more
Paula Cappa
If you enjoyed the Philip Marlowe mysteries by Raymond Chandler, you will love this book. Black (John Banville) does an outstanding job of capturing Marlowe as the quintessential private dick and truly mastered Chandler's style and action. And even if you're not a Marlowe fan, this crime fiction noir moves fast and sassy, and the talky wisecracking characters are first rate. We are in Bay City CA in 1950, a gorgeous wealthy blonde, a missing lover, drugs, thugs, and booze. What could be finer. I ...more
I bow down to Benjamin Black (nee John Banville). He has done something I simply did not believe could be done. He has somehow channeled the chain-smoking, tough-guy spirit of Raymond Chandler and created a brilliant new Philip Marlowe mystery, and one that doesn't feel like a homage or a Xerox of Chandler, but a smart, well-conceived continuation of the character. It's not so much the plot -- in which Marlowe tries to help the cool, curvy title blonde find a missing lover and instead finds hims ...more
Author John Banville has won the Booker Prize. Here he writes as Benjamin Black, embarking on a homage to Raymond Chandler by recreating Philip Marlowe in a story meant to follow on from the 1953 novel The Long Goodbye. Using a title Chandler might even have used himself, The Black Eyed Blonde, Black has chosen an unenviable task – to try and be completely authentic to Chandler’s original tone of voice and come up with a story that fits into the canon. Joe Gores did a fantastic job with Spade &a ...more
I'm a great fan of Raymond Chandler and so predisposed to read any book that brings Chandler's Marlowe back to the page. I only knew of two previous attempts, one where Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser detective series, completed an unfinished Chandler manuscript, Poodle Springs and then wrote a completely new Marlowe, Perchance to Dream. Both were interesting additions to the Chandler brand. Parker brought the experience of having written several dozen detective novels and the experience ...more
Mal Warwick
I’ve never been a fan of books written by contemporary writers using legendary characters created by someone long dead — but I’m such a big fan of Benjamin Black’s Quirke series set in Dublin that I couldn’t resist grabbing up his recreation of Raymond Chandler’s legendary detective, Philip Marlowe. The Black-Eyed Blonde is Black’s first effort at rejuvenating the series in an arrangement with Chandler’s estate. Chandler himself wrote the title; it was one of several in a list of possible new bo ...more
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What about the facts depicted in Poodle Springs? 3 6 Jun 16, 2014 06:36PM  
Release date ? 10 11 Jun 16, 2014 11:52AM  
The Black-Eyed Blonde Chapters 5-8 Spoilers welcome 2 9 Jun 16, 2014 11:50AM  
The Black-Eyed Blonde Chapters 17-20 Spoilers welcome 1 8 Apr 23, 2014 10:29PM  
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Pen name for John Banville

Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties; his mother was a housewife. He is the youngest of three siblings; his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own. His sister Vonnie Banville-Evans has written both a children's novel and a r
More about Benjamin Black...
Christine Falls (Quirke #1) The Silver Swan (Quirke, #2) Elegy for April (Quirke, #3) A Death in Summer (Quirke, #4) Vengeance (Quirke, #5)

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