In all the years I have been reading Banville, he's only made one Los Angeles area appearance. This week he makes his second, as part of the excellent Writers Bloc series. He's in town - appropriately enough - to discuss his (or, rather, Benjamin Black's) new take on Marlowe:
In Black’s new book, The Black-Eyed Blonde, Philip Marlowe resurfaces so clearly, so visibly, that you can feel his alienation at the wealthy heiress’ mansion on the beach. You are dropped straight into old LA’s Barney’s Beanery, where Marlowe fishes for information about the blonde’s missing boyfriend. The story: a guy goes missing. The wealthy blonde girlfriend wants to find him. But of course that’s only the very first part of the tale. It’s in the complications, the nature of the character and the conflict that we realize that Benjamin Black’s great Dublin character, Quirke, is not unlike Raymond Chandler’s rumpled Los Angeles Marlowe. In Black’s most capable hands, our Marlowe lives and breathes as if Raymond Chandler himself willed him to life. Being a Dubliner, Black alludes to Dublin and to Ireland, lending authenticity to his re-creation. Philip Marlowe has finally met his dopelganger.
Hope to see you there!