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Publisher's Summary

Jaded and cynical Los Angeles detective Philip Marlowe meets up with classy, well-endowed redhead Betty Mayfield in this last novel by the master of mystery, Raymond Chandler.

Marlowe is assigned to tail Betty - a cinch, he thinks, until lounge lizard Larry Mitchell turns up dead outside Betty's hotel room a few hours after pawing her in a California club.

Filled with Chandler's famed snappy repartee and starkly frightening scenes, Playback simmers with suspense as Marlowe tries to solve a tale of big money - and, of course, murder.

Public Domain (P)2009 Phoenix

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    7
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It doesn't get any better than this!

Great plot and characters, excellent hard-boiled (and, at times, funny) writing by Chandler. Elliott Gould does a really fine job with the narration also. I wish they hadn't abridged it ... wonder why? It's so refrershing to listen to a story that doesn't rely on exotic or impossible technology, gratuitous sex, an ending where everything blows up, and all the other gimmicks used by so many so-called authors today. (There was a little sex, but it fit in beautifully.) Just a great tale, well-read! You won't be disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Solid novel, but forgettable

What did you like best about Playback? What did you like least?

The prose was more straight forward and easier to follow in an audiobook than some of Chandler. The narration by Elliot Gould captured Marlowe's voice well.

Would you be willing to try another book from Raymond Chandler? Why or why not?

Sure I would. But, I'm not in a rush to. I like the character of Marlowe, but I find Chandler's plots too knotted. He introduces characters and twists to make the narrative complicated. But, there isn't enough character development to make you care.

Which scene was your favorite?

The first hour or so was the most compelling.

Did Playback inspire you to do anything?

Not really.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adira
  • Torotno, ON, Canada
  • 12-22-10

Excellent!

This is a really excellent story, one of Phillip Marlowe's best outings in my opinion. Elliott Gould makes an excellent Marlowe. His voice conveys the perfect mix of sensitivity and toughness that makes Chandler's private eye the real deal.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Gaynor
  • Perth, Australia
  • 02-13-12

Boring

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Dont know

Has Playback turned you off from other books in this genre?

I will try to be more aware of what i am buying next time.

What three words best describe Elliott Gould’s voice?

Clear, OK.

Any additional comments?

To humdrum, Did not finish the book.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • franjangle
  • 10-30-14

As cool and gripping as Chandler always is

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, read all Chandlers at any opportunity, if only for his metaphors

What other book might you compare Playback to, and why?

The rest of the Chandler canon: this one somehow wanders a bit, more of a stroll than a jog.

What does Elliott Gould bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Authentic American drawl

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and did, on a long drive.

Any additional comments?

Oh, just relax and enjoy

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 10-29-14

Pale Chandler

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Nicely read by Elliott Gould, and Playback has some of Chandler's irresistible phrasing and atmosphere, but mostly it's a bit thin. this was Chandler's last completed novel and I would recommend all the others before reading this one.