Irish novelist John Banville has been contracted to write a new novel about Raymond Chandler‘s iconic private detective, Philip Marlowe. Henry Holt will publish the book in 2013 under Banville’s pen name, Benjamin Black. Banville promises to create a “slightly surreal, or hyper-real, atmosphere” for the novel, exploring some of Marlowe’s Los Angeles.
Along with Marlowe, Banville will also revive Bernie Olds, the shamus’ cop pal. The novel will have an original plot and take place in the 1940s. The setting will be in Bay City – Chandler’s fictional stand-in for Santa Monica, California – and feature Chandler’s hallmark noir ambience.
What do you think? Personally, I’m weary of all these publisher gimmicks. It’s one thing to “revive” the Bond franchise, but messing with Chandler is just plain heresy.