The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
While he is not afraid to risk physical harm, he does not dish out violence merely to settle scores. Morally upright, he is not fooled by the genre's usual femmes fatale, such as Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep. Chandler's treatment of the detective novel exhibits a continuing effort to develop the art form. His first full length book, The Big Sleep, was published when Chandler was 51; his last, Playback, at 70. All eight novels were produced in the last two decades of his life. Chandler is not consistent as to Marlowe's age.
In The Big Sleep where the story occurs in 1936, he makes him to be 33, while in The Long Goodbye (cast fourteen years later) Marlowe is 42. In a letter to D. J. Ibberson, written 19 April 1951, Chandler noted among other things that Marlowe is 38 years old and was born in Santa Rosa, California.
He had a couple of years at college and some experience as an investigator for an insurance company and the district attorney's office of Los Angeles County; he was fired from the D.A.'s office for insubordination (or, as Marlowe put it, "talking back"). The D.A.'s chief investigator, Bernie Ohls, is a friend and former colleague, and a source of information for Marlowe within law enforcement. Marlowe is slightly over six feet (about 185 centimetres) tall and weighs about 190 pounds (86 kilograms). He first lived at the Hobart Arms, on Franklin Ave. near N.
Kenmore Ave. (in The Big Sleep), but then moved to the Bristol Hotel, where he stayed for about ten years. By 1950 (in The Long Goodbye) he was residing in a rented house on Yucca Ave., and continued at the same place in early 1952 in Playback, the last full-length Chandler Marlowe novel. His office, originally on the 7th floor of an unnamed building in 1936, is at #615 on the 6th floor of the Cahuenga Building by March/April 1939 (the date of Farewell, My Lovely), which is located on Hollywood Boulevard near Ivar.
North Ivar Avenue is between North Cahuenga Boulevard to the west and Vine Street to the east. The office telephone number is GLenview 7537. Marlowe's office is modest and he doesn't have a secretary (unlike his contemporary, Sam Spade). He generally refuses to take divorce cases. He smokes and prefers Camels.
At home, he sometimes smokes a pipe. An adept chess player, he almost exclusively plays against himself. He drinks whiskey or brandy frequently and in relatively large quantities. For example, in The High Window, he gets out a bottle of Four Roses, and pours glasses of the blended American whiskey for himself, for Det. Lt.
Breeze and for Spangler. At other times he is drinking Old Forester, a Kentucky bourbon: "I hung up and fed myself a slug of Old Forester to brace my nerves for the interview. As I was inhaling it I heard her steps tripping along the corridor." (The Little Sister) Marlowe is adept at using liquor to loosen the tongues of people from whom he needs to extract information. An example is in The High Window, when Marlowe finally persuades the detective-lieutenant, whose "solid old face was lined and grey with fatigue", to take a drink and thereby loosen up and give out.
"Breeze looked at me very steadily. Then he sighed. Then he picked the glass up and tasted it and sighed again and shook his head sideways with a half smile; the way a man does when you give him a drink and he needs it very badly and it is just right and the first swallow is like a peek into a cleaner, sunnier, brighter world." See also Marlowe's interrogation of Jessie Florian in Farewell My Lovely. He makes good coffee, eschewing the use of filters (see Farewell My Lovely). He takes his coffee with cream in the mornings, but has it black at other times. At the time of writing he was probably carrying a 9x19mm Parabellum Luger P08 pistol, but switched to a .32 ACP Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless, then to a .38 Special Smith & Wesson Model 10 .
Phillip Marlowe also carried a Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol chambered in .38 Super in the book The High Window. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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