This week’s Pulp Friday offering needs no introduction, Raymond Chandler’s Playback.
Playback was Chandler’s last book, published in 1958, a year before his death, and based on a screenplay he had written several years earlier. It features his iconic creation Philip Marlowe.
This is an Australian version of the book, published locally by Horwitz Publications in 1961.
Based in Sydney but with offices in Melbourne, Horwitz Publications was established in 1921. It started out doing trade publications and sporting magazines, but by the fifties had branched into popular and pulp fiction, including mystery, thrillers, romance and westerns.
The company published locally sourced stories, as well as Australians editions of overseas works. Well know authors included Carter Brown, Marshall Grover and Marc Brody. Some of its best known names were pseudonyms used by multiple writers.
Horwitz ceased producing fiction in the late nineties.
Although Playback is considered the weakest of Chandler’s seven novels, I’m sure you’ll agree with me the cover is a beauty.
The blurb on the back is also a vintage hard boiled prose.
“The Redhead didn’t look like a tramp, not did she look like a crook.
But when hard-boiled Philip Marlowe was paid to tail her he got plenty besides information.”