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Farewell, My Lovely (1940)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,884882,326 (4.06)219
Eight years ago Moose Malloy and cute little redhead Velma were getting married - until someone framed Malloy for armed robbery. Now his stretch is up and he wants Velma back. PI Philip Marlow meets Malloy one hot day in Hollywood and, out of the generosity of his jaded heart, agrees to help him. Dragged from one smoky bar to another, Marlowe's search for Velma turns up plenty of dangerous gangsters with a nasty habit of shooting first and talking later. And soon what started as a search for a missing person becomes a matter of life and death . . .… (more)
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» See also 219 mentions

English (84)  Spanish (4)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
“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.”

Now, if this is not hard-boiled as it gets, then what is it?

This is my first Raymond Chandler book, but I can feel a Chandler binge coming one.... ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Raymond Chandler carved out a nice niche for himself in the literary world as one of the originators of the hard-boiled detective story genre. His protagonist Philip Marlowe, along with Dashiell Hammett’s character Sam Spade, set the standard for the tough, glib-talking, hard-drinking private dick who is constantly getting in scrapes on both sides of the law. In Farewell, My Lovely, the second entry in Chandler’s series of novels, Marlowe stumbles into witnessing the murder of a night club owner by an ex-convict who is trying to track down the lover who jilted him years ago. That incident causes Marlowe to look for the missing woman, which in turn leads to a series of apparently connected events, including a jewelry heist, several beatings, a phony fortune teller, a lot of crooked police officers, a corrupt doctor, an alluring but suspicious high-society woman, an illegal gambling operator, and, of course, a few more murders.

Written in 1940, this book has not aged well. By now, in fact, Marlowe’s trademark snappy patter has been much copied (and parodied) on screen and in print in a way that makes it feel woefully unconvincing and out of date. While Chandler certainly had a talent for creating noir-ish scenes around the Southern California setting, the fact is that story itself is rather thin and most of the substantive action is revealed through conversations between characters rather than in real time. However, the biggest fault I found with this particular novel is just how overtly racist and misogynistic it was, particularly in the beginning section. The author chose to use terms and characterizations for Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, Italians, and Women that are nothing short of highly inflamed epithets in the modern lexicon. These phrasings were simply impossible to ignore and the sad thing is that the tale did not really depend on them in any material way. So, while Farewell, My Lovely may well be an important historical architype of a certain type of fiction, it is a style of storytelling whose time has long since passed. ( )
  browner56 | Mar 23, 2021 |
Enjoyable, but not as good as The Big Sleep. The main mystery of the story just doesn't hold your interest in the same way, and the plot just feels muddled and confusing rather than mysterious. Chandler writes like nobody else, though, which is always a joy. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Nearly gave this 5 stars. About half way through the book I thought 'After this book was written why did anyone bother to write any more crime books at all?'. It's got plot and clues and characters and places. It's got sight, smell, sound and touch, even some change of pace. And most of all it has the most brilliant stream of consciousness. It is written in the first person and in the past tense, but not as if telling what happened from the future - more as a running commentary - the still, small voice in the head slightly detached and describing or explaining the action to himself as it plays out. Terrific. Now got to find a whiskey sour and decide which film of the book to watch while it is fresh in my mind. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Marlowe tumbling through the ultimately connected cases firing sharp quips rather than his gun and solving cases through cleverly getting the living daylights beaten out of him. Perfect. The sudden one person "dialogue" made my laugh out loud which is not something I usually do reading crime novels (except those really, really bad ones). ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chandler, Raymondprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahmavaara, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dexter, ColinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyytäjä, KaleviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, RayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teichmann, WulfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Даскалов, ГеоргиTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Eight years ago Moose Malloy and cute little redhead Velma were getting married - until someone framed Malloy for armed robbery. Now his stretch is up and he wants Velma back. PI Philip Marlow meets Malloy one hot day in Hollywood and, out of the generosity of his jaded heart, agrees to help him. Dragged from one smoky bar to another, Marlowe's search for Velma turns up plenty of dangerous gangsters with a nasty habit of shooting first and talking later. And soon what started as a search for a missing person becomes a matter of life and death . . .

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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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