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Farewell, my lovely by Raymond Chandler

Farewell, my lovely (1940)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Farewell, My Lovely is the second novel to feature Chandler's now-famous private detective, Philip Marlowe. In this book, Marlowe happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and is witness to a murder at the hands of a recently released convict. On the heels of this event, he is hired as a bodyguard and ends up with a murdered client. Marlowe continues digging to find answers to these crimes and stumbles into a world of hijackings, jewel thievery, police corruption, and more.

I greatly enjoyed The Big Sleep and was eager to move on to the next book in the series. In some ways, Farewell, My Lovely doesn't disappoint - Marlowe is still the epitome of the noir detective, the mystery is tightly wound and unpredictable with many layers to unwrap, and Chandler's writing is tight, compact, and understatedly humorous. On the down side, this book shows its age in its very casual racism; the first 20 pages alone are littered with countless epithets for African-Americans, including a litany of slang ones I had never heard before and would have been OK without having learned. In some ways, this book is a sad reminder of how far we haven't come, for the murder of a black man warrants very little interest from the police, while the murder of white man becomes something more of a hubbub. I do think (perhaps too optimistically) that Chandler was trying to make that point exactly, but all the slurs and crude comments dropped just aren't pretty. And that's even before we get to the American Indian character who speaks in grunts of broken English in a classic bad Western movie style.

While this sort of blatant racism wouldn't fly in a modern book, I was able to partially overlook it because of the time when the book was published (1940). And when Chandler wasn't - inadvertently or purposely - insulting large swaths of people, the mystery he wrote was intriguing and kept you guessing to the end. So, all in all, I did enjoy this book and I'm curious to see what Marlowe will be up to next in the following book. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Oct 2, 2015 |
Farewell, My Lovely is the classic Raymond Chandler story of PI Philip Marlowe. Marlowe, a former investigator for the DA’s office, is a loner whose business is slow at the moment. A big bruiser, Moose Malloy has gotten out of prison after serving 8 years for a bank robbery. He's looking for his girl, a redheaded singer named Velma. Marlowe is on the premises of a nightclub when Moose busts in and shoots and kills the manager. Soon after, Marlowe gets hired as a temporary bodyguard by Lindsay Marriott, who is ransoming a fine jade necklace for a friend after it was stolen during a carjacking. But Marlowe gets knocked out on the job and Marriott ends up beaten to a pulp. Soon there are a number plots surrounding Marlowe—and how they intersect (or not) –is Marlowe’s to figure out. We meet the classic dame, the corrupt cop and a few red herrings. If you are interested in a classic, high browed version of the “pulp fiction” novel –this is it. The language is classic—though at times not vey PC. Marlowe is the epitome of the hard drinking, loner PI—I actually listened to this novel being read by Elliot Gould (the actor who played Marlowe in the 1970s) making the story even better. 4 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Jul 30, 2015 |
Much better than The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye. Enjoyed this one immensely. ( )
  KeishonT | Mar 29, 2015 |
I found the plot too confusing: because there were so many things going on and virtually nothing to tie them together, I lost interest. In the end these random things were of course tied together, but the writer gave no hints along the path on how this would happen. It just happened.

The book was full of unnecessary description of every day life that had nothing to do with the plot. The discussions were mostly full of nonsense as well. In a way all this randomness and meaninglessness reminded me of life as everyone knows it. In general, there is no plot or logic or aim in real life and most of the discussion is just meaningless nonsense to fill the emptiness. I'm not sure though if I need to read about this in a book as my life is so full of it already. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | Feb 28, 2015 |
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 |
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:21 -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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