Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

by Daniel Depp

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Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 03, 2009 2:04 pm

Spandau has been compared with Philip Marlowe and Loser’s Town has been compared with Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty. And suec explained her reasons for the comparison to Philip Marlowe on the thread about Spandau (see quote below).

Daniel sees Marlowe in Spandau but doesn’t see the comparison with Get Shorty because Spandau looks at Hollywood from an insider perspective, which is not the case with the characters in Get Shorty (per book signing in San Jose). At the book signing Daniel said that he viewed Spandau as an update of Philip Marlow in the sense that Spandau is a moral character. Marlow, like Spandau, “is a guy with a heart who goes out there and does the job he has to do—does the right thing even though he realizes that he’s probably going to get clobbered for it. He’s not going to change the world; but he does it because it is the right and correct thing to do.”



suec wrote: a good way to think of Spandau is to compare him with Marlowe. I'll give it a go working from memory.

At one point, Annie thinks to herself that Spandau is like Robert Mitchum. Personally, I interpret that to be one of a number of nods to the character of Marlowe, as Mitchum played him. I think there are some similarities but also some key differences. The sassy, hardboiled dialogue is very Marlowe. Where Spandau is the cowboy, Marlowe is the knight and is presented that way. He is chivalrous and protective of the weak. Loyalty to the client is there also, although Marlowe will demonstrate that in his own way. He does a lot his own way. He has his moral code and lives by it, although he also does a bit of ducking and weaving. I would say he is much more at home in the city than Spandau. He is much more successful, I think. He gets knocked out or drugged up or something, or saddened by something, but essentially he's a survivor: (even) more self-sufficient, much more hardboiled as a character than Spandau is, who's been around a bit (a lot, then), but who is still vulnerable and a loser.

A harsh way of putting it perhaps, but in this book that's how I think of Spandau. Personally, I think this book is darker in mood than the Chandler books I have read although they cover a lot of similar ground.



How do you think they compare?

Do you see any similarities between Daniel’s novel and any of your favorite detective novels?
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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby deppaura » Sun May 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Not particularly a fan of detective novels. In fact, I was disappointed to know that Daniel's book was of that genre. Is it like the chick flick thing? Wonder how women and men respond to mystery novels? But, I do enjoy PBS mystery theater presentations. That may be my Brit thing. Think they do things marvelously. Just a thought that my guess, from Daniel's comments, would be that his work is greatly influenced by Chandler. Most artists can't avoid the influence of greats before them. That's it. Will enjoy your comments as you run with this one.

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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby gemini » Sun May 03, 2009 7:50 pm

I hate to skip a question but like deppaura, I am not much of a fan of detective novels either, so cant make much of a comparison. Truthfully, I didn't take Losers Town as much of a detective work except in the name of his occupation. I'll leave this one to you Marlowe fans.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby nebraska » Sun May 03, 2009 8:26 pm

I also know nothing about Marlowe and am clueless about Get Shorty (it wasn't one of Johnny's movies :lol: -- it was a movie, wasn't it? )

The obvious good thing about this is that ONBC once again took me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to something new.

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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 03, 2009 8:35 pm

Thanks for being honest, ladies. I'm sure there will be someone out there who can enlighten us a bit on Get Shorty and add to suec's comments on Marlowe and Spandau. I saw Get Shorty, the movie, but don't remember anything about it except the stars and Ivy's (only because of my tidbit).
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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby fansmom » Sun May 03, 2009 8:41 pm

I am a fan of detective novels and mysteries, but I haven't read any Raymond Chandler in a long time. Wikipedia says this about Philip Marlowe--
Underneath the wisecracking, hard drinking, tough private eye, Marlowe is quietly contemplative and philosophical. He enjoys chess and poetry. While he is not afraid to risk physical harm, he does not dish out violence merely to settle scores. Morally upright, he is not bamboozled by the genre's usual femmes fatale, like Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep.

And since I've never read or seen Get Shorty it seems I don't have much to contribute today.

(Liz, did you watch The Simpsons this evening? I would never have recognized their version of the Ivy if it weren't for the Beverly Hills tidbit.)

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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby trygirl » Sun May 03, 2009 11:24 pm

I'm not big on detective novels either and I watched Get Shorty a long time ago. I also know very little of Phillip Marlowe so there will be no Spandau comparison from me. However, there are similarities between Richie Stella and Get Shorty's main character Chili Palmer. Daniel and Elmore Leonard's stories both contain tales of two gangsters strong-arming their way into films. They also each keep their respective bosses in the dark about these Hollywood aspirations. But it works out more for Chili than Richie. My answer isn't much but I hardly remember movies like Get Shorty. Now Johnny is a different story.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby ladylinn » Mon May 04, 2009 9:44 am

This is my first reading of a detective novel. More familiar with TV detective shows. Clueless on "Get Shorty". :dunce: Please enlighten me - detective readers. :perplexed:

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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby Liz » Mon May 04, 2009 9:48 am

trygirl wrote:I'm not big on detective novels either and I watched Get Shorty a long time ago. I also know very little of Phillip Marlowe so there will be no Spandau comparison from me. However, there are similarities between Richie Stella and Get Shorty's main character Chili Palmer. Daniel and Elmore Leonard's stories both contain tales of two gangsters strong-arming their way into films. They also each keep their respective bosses in the dark about these Hollywood aspirations. But it works out more for Chili than Richie. My answer isn't much but I hardly remember movies like Get Shorty. Now Johnny is a different story.

Hmmmm. Seems to be a lot of similarities to me…..but maybe not ones that Daniel thought were significant. :perplexed:

Fansmom, I don’t normally watch The Simpsons. But I wish I had last night. :-/
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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby suec » Sun May 10, 2009 5:24 am

I don't have much to add here. But Marlowe is a drinker. And his personal ife isn't filled in in the same way. He's an ex-cop, fired for insubordination and never married because he doesn't like policemen's wives. It's pretty much as succinct as that.
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Re: Loser's Town Question #19 ~ Spandau, Marlowe & Get Shorty

Unread postby Liz » Sun May 10, 2009 11:16 pm

Thanks for the additional insight into Marlowe, suec. I don't see the similarity to Spandau in regard to these particular traits.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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