This is an exceptional book - one of those wonderful ventures that somehow contrives to blend history, politics, biography, art and humour into a thumping good mystery.
Raymond Chandler, tired and enervated after the death of his wife and a lifetime of trying to craft pulp fiction into literature whilst staying true to the vernacular (even though he was a product of British public schooling), is travelling back across the Atlantic to the England of his youth on the SS Mauritania. On board he meets a man named Marlow (without an 'e' on the end we are told, to Chandler's great relief - for who wants to spend a week at sea with your alter ego?) This Marlow(e) however is a medical doctor who has a drinking problem that rivals Chandler's own. Also on board the whisky drenched luxury liner are various characters who somehow relate to Chandler's Hollywood past - an aging film star, a wealthy producer/politician, a troubled script writer, a Hollywood gossip columnist, an Argentinean emissary, an Israeli spy (perhaps) and a cringe-worthy ingénue whose father, she says blushingly, only owns a very little steel mill. In this heady soup of soused up nights and hung-over days, the aging movie star disappears. And Chandler, aghast at finding himself playing Poirot in a locked-room Agatha Christie mystery (the likes of which he bitterly detests), is compelled to find out what happened to her. But is it the movie star he is searching for or something else? And is Marlow(e), the reluctant Sancho Panza to Chandler's Don Quixote, just along for the ride?
A Knight at Sea is probably the best novel about Raymond Chandler ever written! Brilliant, bold, witty, political and totally absorbing!
Finley's Book Reviews
KNIGHT AT SEA by R. J. Raskin
"Probably the best novel about Raymond Chandler ever written! Brilliant, bold, witty, political and totally absorbing!" Ozymandias
the 12th of April, 1955 Raymond Chandler boarded the Mauritania in
New York setting sail for the England of his youth. Four years
later, he died, a lonely alcoholic, in a small town on the South
Californian coast. A Knight at Sea is a fictional account of
this story. Woven like a film noir this is a Chandleresque tale of
bizarre friendship coupled with intrigue and murder.
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ISBN: 9781900355131 Pages: 261
Price: £12.00 / $18.00
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