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Sunday 17 November 2019

Banville to Do marlowe

This week, it was revealed that the famous Private Eye of classic Raymond Chandler novels like The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye will return in a new novel by John Banville.

Banville may be a Booker Prize winner but he is also a big fan of detective fiction, as we know from his Benjamin Black books. Now he has taken this a stage further by agreeing to write a new Philip Marlowe book, to be published next year. It has been authorised by the Chandler estate and will be set in Marlowe's fictional Bay City in 1940s California.

"I've always admired Chandler's writing, and when the offer came to write a 'new' Marlowe novel, Benjamin Black could not resist the challenge," Banville said.

"I began reading Chandler as a teenager, and frequently return to the novels.

"This idea has been germinating for several years and I relish the prospect of setting a book in Marlowe's California, which I always think of in terms of Edward Hopper's paintings. Bay City will have a slightly surreal, or hyper-real, atmosphere that I look forward to creating."

The idea of a writer like Banville taking on a project like this is not new. At the request of the Ian Fleming estate, Kingsley Amis and Sebastian Faulks are among those who have written James Bond novels.

John Spain

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