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The Black-Eyed Blonde

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  2,358 Ratings  ·  510 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,
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2014)
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Karina Probably a better read than if you had. It pales in comparison to Chandler, but is a decent story if you aren't looking for Chandler's particular…moreProbably a better read than if you had. It pales in comparison to Chandler, but is a decent story if you aren't looking for Chandler's particular style, and if you aren't familiar with the Phillip Marlow character. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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Brandon
May 05, 2014 Brandon rated it liked it
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
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Gerard Cappa
Feb 20, 2014 Gerard Cappa rated it it was amazing
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
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Lauren
Nov 26, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
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
Michael
Oct 18, 2013 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Barbara
Mar 30, 2014 Barbara rated it liked it

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 after the accident. 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.

Ma
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Cynthia
Mar 11, 2014 Cynthia rated it really liked it
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
F.R.
Mar 08, 2015 F.R. rated it liked it
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
Bastet
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
Ubiquitousbastard
Mar 25, 2014 Ubiquitousbastard rated it it was ok
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
Gala
3.75/5
La rubia de ojos negros es de las pocas novelas policiales que leí, pero considerando cuánto me gustó, sin dudas voy a seguir leyendo más libros de este género.

Para empezar, debería mencionar un poco el contexto de la novela. El personaje principal, el detective es Philip Marlowe. ¿Por qué, si el libro no es de Chandler? Unos descendientes de él, le pidieron a Black/Banville que escribiera una nueva novela usando a este detective. De lo que no puedo opinar es si Black encarnó bien a Marlo
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Raven
Feb 22, 2015 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Liviu Szoke
Deși romanele lui Raymond Chandler care-l au ca protagonist pe Philip Marlowe sunt printre preferatele mele, iar Christine Falls, primul roman din seria Quirke a lui Benjamin Black a fost o adevărată revelație pentru mine, m-aș fi așteptat ca această combinație, Benjamin Black scriind un roman cu Philip Marlowe, preluând ștafeta de la Raymond Chandler, să fie una ideală. N-a fost chiar așa, ba chiar am rămas cam dezamăgit. Nu este un roman slab, ba din contră, are o intrigă bine închegată, iar d ...more
Gearóid
Mar 14, 2014 Gearóid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Roybot
Apr 28, 2014 Roybot rated it did not like it
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
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Josiah Hawkins
Mar 27, 2014 Josiah Hawkins rated it really liked it
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
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Kristine Brancolini
Mar 09, 2014 Kristine Brancolini rated it liked it
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
Paula Cappa
Jul 11, 2014 Paula Cappa rated it it was amazing
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
Viccy
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.
John
Okay for those wanting a Marlowe fix, though clearly a pastiche rather than an original story. Audio narration was good, although he came across as a bit effete to me.
Justin Sorbara-Hosker
Oct 23, 2013 Justin Sorbara-Hosker rated it really liked it
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
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Gloria Feit
Oct 05, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it it was amazing
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
Leo
Apr 10, 2015 Leo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, noir, 2015, detective
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
Tony
Mar 18, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it
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
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Steven  Godin
In the tradition of Raymond Chandler this hard-boiled noir picks up sometime after The Long Goodbye and sees a slightly older Philip Marlowe being hired by the wealthy Clare Cavendish to track down a former boyfriend who may or may not have faked his own death after being spotted in San Francisco, where we go from here is pretty much a standard affair in terms of plot with nothing that hasn't been done before but as it doesn't have the complexity of other Marlowe novels it does make for an easie ...more
Terri Jacobson
This book was written in the style of Raymond Chandler by Man Booker Prize-winning author John Banville under the pseudonym of Benjamin Black. The title was found with other possible book titles in Chandler's files after he died. The book does have a lot of great period detail of the early 1950s. It's a fun mystery, pretty good for the genre.
Tuck
Apr 16, 2014 Tuck rated it really liked it
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

http://stwr.ent.sirsi.net/client/default

Mark
As a general rule I do not mind continuation novels especially by writers that are fairly good at their job as writers. Benjamin Black AKA John Banville is a fairly accomplished writer of Irish descent who takes on the job of continuing where a certain Raymond Chandler did stop writing about the fairly well known PI Philip Marlowe. And he is not the first to do so, somewhere in my collection I have a collection of short stories that all involve fairly well known writers and their short take on P ...more
Mal Warwick
Dec 14, 2013 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it
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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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
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More about Benjamin Black...

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