Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: career and peak

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 19 Nov 2001

Gerald wrote:

"IMO, Chandler ran out of story with THE LITTLE SISTER and PLAYBACK."

I won't argue about Playback, a cobbled together addendum to the Marlowe series, but do you mean WITH Little Sister or IN Little Sister? The Long Goodbye, in my mind Chandler's best book, came out between these two.

"I could also say that Parker surpasses Chandler in writing a more accessible, better-rounded character, but I think better rounded characters are a function of time."

Now that I flat out disagree with. Although we may not know nearly as many particulars of Marlowe's life as we do Spenser's, I think we know his character just as well, if not better.

Even though I think of myself as reading for character, that doesn't necessarily mean I need to know a lot of specifics about him. How many
"facts" do we know about Lew Archer or the Continental Op (we don't even know his name)? And do you really need a long series to develop a well rounded character? Hammett did it in one, twice. I'd call both Sam Spade and Ned Beaumont well rounded characters.


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