Playback Social Concerns

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In 1957, when Raymond Chandler wrote Playback, his seventh and final detective novel, he was sixty-nine years old, famous, and well-to-do. He was also terminally cyncial and wasted by long years of hard drinking. (In fact, it is said that he wrote most of this book while drunk.) Playback was published in early 1958, and according to Frank MacShane in his biography The Life of Raymond Chandler (1958), it "is the weakest of [his] novels." MacShane went on to note that "Playback is full of autobiographical echoes, and the ending of the book mirrors Chandler's own wishes" for love and intimacy at that stage in his life.

Chandler had found fame and adulation as one of the fathers of the school of writing that has become known as the "hard-boiled" detective novel, a uniquely American genre. In 1998, Time magazine noted that "Chandler has inspired more poses and parodies than any other writer...

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This section contains 1,494 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Playback Short Guide
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Playback from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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