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Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
by Raymond Chandler
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What a great read! Love this guy and the way he writes- fantastic stuff.
Eight years ago, Moose Malloy and cute little redhead Velma were getting married-until someone fingered Malloy for an armed robbery. Now he is out of prison, and he wants Velma back. Private Investigator Philip Marlowe is in a bit of a dry patch and has no other work on so decides to help Malloy. But soon what started as a missing person search becomes something much more sinister.
This is the second book in the series and once again we get the 'mean' streets of Los Angeles ranging from the seedy joints lining Central Avenue to the estates in Beverly Hills and Brentwood Heights before heading to the fictional Bay City, loosely based on a crooked Santa Monica.
Marlowe is a world-weary, 'hardboiled' PI who is always quick with a witty quip and is the antipathy of the phrase dogged, no matter what is done to him physically he just keeps ploughing on as if to prove the adage that 'you can't keep a good man down'.
Moose Malloy is also an interesting character. We first meet him literally throwing a guy bodily out of his way, he is a single-minded maniac but one that tends to hurt people without really intending to, he simply doesn't realise his own strength.
But what makes this an interesting read is the prose. The book is dotted with wonderful metaphors that just bring the people and places to life, often with a sardonic humor.
On the downside the book is also littered with examples of casual racism and misogyny which simply wouldn't be accepted today. I'm not a fan of censorship and want to read books just as they were written but that doesn't mean that I don't feel uncomfortable whilst I'm doing so, hence why I've marked it down.
Better than The Big Sleep.
Entirely great of course.. though it is odd to read the sometimes awkward amalgamation of different stories all tied together. Still, I love the part about the dope tank and how we broke out of that and the big tough guy who helps him get aboard the unboardable gambling ship just off the state shoreline.
Belongs to Series
Philip Marlowe (2)
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Is contained in
Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) by Raymond Chandler
The big sleep/Farewell my lovely/The high window/The lady in the lake/The long goodbye/Playback by Raymond Chandler
The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window / The Lady in the Lake / The Little Sister / The Long Goodbye / Playback by Raymond Chandler
The Raymond Chandler Omnibus: The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window / The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
Five Novels: Finger Man; The big sleep; Farewell my loveley; High window; The lady in the lake by Raymond Chandler
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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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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.52Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1900-1944
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
The female characters are written wonderfully. They are so much more than weak chattels or "romantic interests", instead being the complex, important characters they deserve to be.
The pages are peppered with the most wonderful and creative descriptive phrases, but sparingly enough to constantly surprise. I really love the author's style.
The plot is complicated enough it made my head tangled trying to keep track of the threads at times, but it all comes together, and is certainly not boring. ( )