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Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
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Farewell, My Lovely (1940)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (2)

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English (46)  Spanish (4)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Smarter people than I might be able to poke holes in this one, but I can't. 5 stars, and this one goes on the Deserted Island list. Quite possibly a perfect novel--the descriptions, the dialog, the plot, and the twist, all wrapped up in a cynical, brilliant package. The best I've read in a very, very long time. ( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
What a confusing and overly flowery story.
The core is not too bad of an idea, but I had the feeling that Chandler
tried to make this into a novella when it would have been better of as
a short story. His overuse of flavour text was getting quite annoying
towards the end and gave me a really hard time to even finish this
book. A lot of the descriptions did not add to the atmosphere of the
story, on the contrary it distracted from what was going. The case
itself was solved within two pages at the end without much real
sleuthing going on even though Marlow was running around like crazy,
getting into trouble only to hear in the end that he knew more or less
all along who the culprit was. A very uninspired story all in all. ( )
  Black-Lilly | Apr 4, 2014 |
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance. I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”

While working a missing persons case, Detective Philip Marlowe finds himself drawn into a murder investigation. Jailbird Moose Malloy knocks off the proprietor of a local watering hole in his pursuit of a gal named Velma. While assisting the cops in hunting him down, Marlowe backs off the case when he realizes he won’t be paid for his efforts. However it’s not long before another job falls in his lap when Marlowe is hired to accompany a man in a money-for-jewelry trade off. When his employer is tucked in for the big sleep, Marlowe tries to piece the crime together, taking a few lumps in the process.

As abrasive as a sheet of sandpaper coated in shattered glass, Philip Marlowe isn’t one to check his attitude at the door. He’s also an alcoholic, a racist, and unapologetically hardheaded. With all these character flaws, why is Raymond Chandler’s signature series so damn enjoyable? It probably has something to do with Chandler’s endlessly quotable prose.

The backbone of any story worth reading is the way the author’s prose plays out on the page. You could have the most exciting plot imaginable but if the writing isn't up to snuff, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on, but sometimes an author can be so good that the plot is almost secondary. The true joy can come from random musings about life, death and everything in between or even the exceptional way an author crafts a setting or describes a character. Raymond Chandler is one such author and while the case surrounding Farewell, My Lovely isn't particularly outstanding, he is certainly a masterful storyteller.

Throughout the story, Chandler takes the reader in a multitude of directions and when Marlowe makes any sort of headway, a new element is introduced thus changing the case. It’s often a wonder Marlowe gets anything done when half the time he’s soaking himself in bourbon while seemingly trying to burn bridges with his smarmy attitude and general distaste for anyone he meets.

Farewell, My Lovely is an excellent novel and a more than worthy follow up to The Big Sleep. Chandler’s Philip Marlowe is one hell of an interesting character leaving me sad to know there are only six books in the series.

Also posted @ Every Read Thing ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
After reading two of his novels now, I'm beginning to like Raymond Chandler much more for his writing than for his plots. For anyone who thinks crime fiction has no place in the literary world, the Marlowe novels might make you change your mind. Chandler's an amazing writer when it comes to social commentary, the similes, metaphors and the sharp, electric prose he's famous for, and of course, his superb depiction of the city of angels of the 1940s that is so lifelike you almost feel that you're along with him for the ride. The novels are also a way for Chandler to examine American society of the time.

While I am not much of an analyst when it comes to reading -- a) there are a huge number of analyses of Chandler and his writing all over the place and b)I'm just not good at it so don't pretend to be -- one thing I particularly noticed in my reading was Chandler's use of the color red. To me, where ever Chandler focused on mentioning red, some kind of danger -- emotional or physical -- was nearby. Velma, Malloy's old sweetheart, was a redhead. Anne Riordan, daughter of an ex-police chief and an ally of Marlowe's in this book, is also a redhead. He likes her enough to keep some of the worst details from her and finds himself thinking about how her apartment would be a "nice room to wear slippers in." He watches a red neon light flashing in the hotel room where he stays just before getting on the water taxi to go out to the gambling boat. He meets ex-cop and boat driver Red Noorgan, with "hair the shade of red that glints with gold," who has "Violet eyes. Almost purple. Eyes like a girl, a lovely girl," with skin Marlowe describes as "soft as silk" and a voice that was "soft, dreamy, so delicate for a big man that it was startling. It made me think of another soft-voiced big man I had strangely liked." There are likely more instances, but I found the use of red quite interesting here.

The mystery plots that eventually tie together are a little clunky, but I loved this novel and I wish I had read these books long before now. The writing alone is worth working through the convoluted plotlines, but most of all I love the character of Marlowe. As I found in The Big Sleep, he's a knight of sorts in a city where knights don't really have a place -- and I really like that about him. FYI -- this book was written in the 1940s so you're going to encounter some pretty ugly racial slurs and racist attitudes as you read. That sort of stuff is a bit shocking, but considering the times, not so unusual for back then.

definitely recommended -- now on to the third Marlowe novel. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Feb 10, 2014 |
Raymond Chandler presents a story that a man would enjoy reading due to the rough and tough language. Many of the phrases left me wondering about the meaning. Many African Americans would take offense at Chandler's language such as a dinge or a shine killing. Chandler ranks premiere in his description of characters and settings, plus he does not fill pages with conversation. Many readers skim over the description and read only the conversation and miss the essence of the story. Philip Marlowe shines as a basically good man who prods through life at his own pace. The story shows love as in the constant love of Moose Malloy for his treacherous girlfriend, Velma Valento. Also, we have Marlowe given the sexual opportunity with two gorgeous women and he passes at each chance. The story presents many interesting facets of life in California in the early 1940’s. ( )
  delphimo | Oct 13, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond Chandlerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dexter, ColinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was one of the mixed blocks over on Central Avenue, the blocks that are not yet all Negro.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394758277, Paperback)

Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Moose Malloy, a six-foot-five giant just out of prison, gets detective Philip Marlowe involved in his seemingly hopeless search for Velma, his missing girlfriend.

» see all 7 descriptions

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