THE LADY IN THE LAKE

Raymond Chandler, Author , read by Elliot Gould. New Millennium Audio $18 (, abridged, two cassettes, 2.5 hours, $18, ISBN ) ISBN 1-59007-093-3

Audio Reviews reflect PW's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.

FictionTHE LADY IN THE LAKERaymond Chandler, read by Elliot Gould. New Millennium Audio, abridged, two cassettes, 2.5 hours, $18, ISBN 1-59007-093-3

Robert Altman's 1973 film version of The Long Goodbye wasn't anybody's idea of traditional Chandler, but Gould was certainly an interesting variation on Philip Marlowe—shabby and shambling, grinning boyishly, he was light-years away from the slicker, more worldly-wise actors (Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, Robert Mitchum, James Garner) who walked down Chandler's mean streets in Marlowe's shoes. Now Gould has translated his unusual vision to this fascinating, if somewhat abrupt, audio adaptation of one of Chandler's least appreciated novels, which finds the increasingly disgruntled and heavy-drinking author moving Marlowe away from the urban jungle of Los Angeles to the mountains and lakes on the fringes of the city, where a detective in a suit and a snap-brim hat looks and feels instantly out of place. Gould catches this fish-out-of-water quality perfectly, as he follows the trail of the missing wife of a perfume magnate and stumbles across several bodies. Although this abridgment clips the edges of many of Chandler's descriptive passages, it appears to leave untouched one of the most chilling scenes in all of crime fiction—the discovery of the body of the titular lady—and Gould gives a superbly chilling reading of the text. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/06/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Audio
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