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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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3,671802,335 (4.07)210
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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English (76)  Spanish (4)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
I’ve read a couple Raymond Chandler novels. I couldn’t tell you if Farewell, My Lovely is any better or worse than any of his others. They’ve all kind of run together in my memory. Chandler has very particular style, and sort of characters, and kind of story, and he never wrote any other kind of story. Not that it’s a bad thing. If a jack of all trades is a master of none, Chandler was a jack of one trade, and he was certainly a master.

Farewell, My Lovely is a fantastic mystery novel, even if very similar to Chandler’s others. It’s got slick and cool writing, a dreary crime-ridden Los Angeles setting, an incredibly convoluted murder mystery-plot (seriously, how did Chandler himself even keep track of all these different threads?), and a lot of world-weary cops and criminals.

All the noir staples are here. There’s the witty likable private detective who drinks enough alcohol to put down a zoo, there’s a murder or a missing person, there’s a hopeless case that the detective just can’t help but pursue, there’s a lot of boxing mobsters and cops, a few more murders and missing persons, and a final confrontation at the end with the criminal mastermind in which all is revealed.

But what makes Chandler so great, what elevates his mysteries into the masterpiece category, is that he resists all the cliches even while falling into all the tropes (to be fair though, he originated a lot of those tropes himself). The bad guys are never as bad as they seem at first, and the good guys never as good. You’ll like the victims and you’ll like the murderers. A lot of rumination on both the inner darkness and inner goodness of people. Chandler’s Los Angeles feels like a real place full of real people with real problems. These aren’t paper-thin villain stereotypes, but people just trying to get by.

By the end, Farewell, My Lovely has asked a big question: what is true love? And it’s given the reader a lot of answers, both good and bad. This extra layer of thought and emotion in his mysteries is what made Chandler a master of the genre. ( )
  gloveswithpockets | May 28, 2020 |
Farewell five stars? Chandler's second novel, my third of his I read and my first non-5-star rating. I really liked his first novel, The Big Sleep and then found The Long Goodbye, published 14 years later, to be an excellent read and hardboiled social commentary. I was looking forward to Farewell, My Lovely and left not upset but not happy.

The hardboiled lingo he used so well in The Big Sleep was fleshed out with too many descriptive words in this book. It reminded me of advice I received in a writing class about how much description to use and how you should hit so many senses with each sentence. The crisp, rapid-fire pace of his other books, and the genre in general, is slowed down so much that it was a chore to read some sections. When Chandler dropped into dialogue mode, his touch returned, but the narrative never matched the pace of his characters talking to each other. While that was my bigger beef, I wasn't as interested in the plot line in this novel. It seemed forced, less believable and with too many two-dimensional characters.

If you want to read Chandler, start with The Long Goodbye. So far, that's been my favorite book of his and it earned a spot on my favorites bookshelf. ( )
  drew_asson | Mar 22, 2020 |
It's good to read a book like this every now and then, like glancing at WWF for 10 minutes just to mix things up a bit.

The flatfoot detective, I love it. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
The second book written by Chandler featuring PI Philip Marlowe. Fairly interesting with quite a few characters. The ending was not a total surprise, but unexpected. 292 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Feb 23, 2020 |
What a great read! Love this guy and the way he writes- fantastic stuff. ( )
  redbird_fan | Jan 13, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (88 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chandler, Raymondprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dexter, ColinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyytäjä, KaleviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, RayNarratorsecondary 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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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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Average: (4.07)
1 4
2 14
2.5 7
3 145
3.5 63
4 384
4.5 52
5 263

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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