The Little Sister: Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe (Illustrated)

Raymond Chandler, Author, Michael Lark, Author, Michael Lark, Illustrator Fireside Books $15 (136p) ISBN 978-0-684-82933-3
Lark's impressive comics adaptation of Chandler's archetypal hardboiled detective novel integrates the best of the latter's classic tough-guy dialogue and feverishly intricate plotting with Lark's stylishly noir illustrations. Bespectacled, spinsterish Midwesterner Orfamay Quest visits the down-at-the heels office of PI Philip Marlowe, ostensibly looking for her missing brother. But Marlowe soon learns that the case is not simple; as the bodies proliferate, it's clear that the little sister knows a lot more than she admits. Lark captures 1940s L.A.'s gloomy, neon-lit luxuriousness; the cigarettes and trench coats, snap-brim fedoras and snappier dialogue (""So I kissed her. It was either that or slug her.""). His chiaroscuro drawings are a bit static, but his elegant panel compositions, generally shrouded in flat black shadows and accented by wan earth tones, serve as wonderfully cinematic snapshots of the novel's action. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997
Release date: 05/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
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