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Farewell, My Lovely Paperback – Jul 12 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (July 12 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394758277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394758275
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cocker on Feb. 16 2007
Format: Paperback
Farewell, My Lovely was my first Raymond Chandler experience, a novel I first read back in junior year of high school, and one that will forever be known to me as the novel that defines noir, hardboiled detectives and gumshoe novels.

In this classic, detective Philip Marlowe gets hired to recover stolen jewels, which in turn has him running into the rogue gallery of gamblers, con men, crooked cops, and (of course) femme fatales. With this said, the story is completely character-driven, making it full of action and narrative. Just flip the book open to any page, and you'll clearly read slick, muscular dialogue and snappy comebacks. Chandler is a benchmark author for stories stripped of any literary fat.

Besides Dashiel Hammett, Chandler is the perennial writer of gumshoe detectives. And Farewell, My Lovely is the perennial gumshoe novel.
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By Michael G. on May 2 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a great novel for so many reasons. The dialogue is clever without descending into cuteness. The supporting cast of characters is a truly fascinating one. The descriptions of places are vivid. Be they the homes of the obscenely rich or rundown slum dwellings. The intricate plot unfolds in a way that really holds the reader's interest with a couple of nice plump red herrings thrown in for good measure.
As always, Marlowe himself is tough as nails and completely hard-boiled. Except that towards the end of the book, he surprises us by becoming sentimental. This uncharacteristic sentimentality is not directed toward either of the two female love interests. But rather toward a tall, violet eyed boatman named Red who helps Marlowe in his hour of need. You really have to admire Raymond Chandler for knowing just when to interject the unexpected.
I would love to give Farewell, My Lovely 5 stars, but I have to deduct 1 star. The reason? I can't for the life of me understand what the killer hoped to gain by commiting murder in the first place.
If Mr. Chandler were still alive, I'm sure he would address that particular concern in the manner of a college professor talking to a kindergartener. I can just imagine him saying: "Reality is not straightforward. Only in the world of fiction are motives clearly defined and unambiguous. My writing is meant to reflect real life." {From The Big Sleep (1939)- "It had the austere simplicity of fiction rather than the tangled woof of fact."}
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Format: Paperback
Raymond Chandler was such a master at his style of prose that you only have to read the first two paragraphs of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY to know exactly what sort of story you're in for. Those two paragraphs perfectly set up the plot that follows: a thriller crossing in and out of the racial divisions of 1940's Los Angeles involving seedy speakeasies, and off-shore gambling, with double-crossing as far as the eye can see. Wonderfully gritty stuff.
This particular Chandler novel has a lot going for it. The hero, Philip Marlowe, is as entertaining as ever. The setting is the familiar scene of other Chandler stories -- alive, heavy and oppressively Los Angeles. The plot is logical, but jumps around a lot, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the more it moves around, the more room Chandler has to incorporate evil-doings; I quite lost track of exactly how many crimes are committed or alluded to during the course of the book. No matter how farfetched it is, Chandler's prose is utterly gripping and absorbing.
I think Philip Marlowe must drink his weight in cheap liquor several times over during the course of this adventure, but you can't help but like the guy. He punches, he shoots, he boozes. He even solves the case by the end. He sure takes a beating in this one, but he keeps coming back for more. He's everything a pulp detective should be - angry, arrogant, determined, and with just a hint of pathos to make him interesting enough to carry the story.
The book as a whole is just too appealing and entertaining not to be a fun experience. Chandler is pretty much the benchmark for these sorts of stories about guns, police, and corruption, so if you like the genre, you might as well read the man who invented it. Tough guys yelling, "Beat it!
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Format: Paperback
In Raymond Chandler's second novel, Philip Marlowe gets embroiled in a complex plot involving murder and lost love.
Marlowe's on the wrong side of town when he gets drawn into watching a murder in a bar that blacks frequent. As usual for this day and age - this is decades before civil rights, remember - the white cops brush it off as meaningless. Only Marlowe shows some interest in what is going on, and the lug of a man that desperately misses his lost love.
Marlowe, pretty down on his luck and drinking hard, pries into the situation as much out of intellectual boredom as anything else. He's not after money, and indeed half the time he's not getting any. He's after making some difference in the world, no matter how small. He's after doing his part to help out those in need. These qualities of honor are taken up by many detectives who came after Marlowe, and are admired by millions of movie viewers who saw the movie version of this book.
The gritty world that Marlowe lives in, the desperate state that many of the characters are in, the racism and disregard for the poor and drug use were all harsh realities of Los Angeles in the 1940s. In that swamp of despair roamed Marlowe, barely keeping his own head above water, but determined to do the right thing. It's his doggedness and his adherence to his own rules that make him a man to be admired throughout the ages ... and it's Chandler's brilliant writing style that brings this world to life.
Those reviewers who cringe at the drinking, the despair and the racism should thank Chandler for bringing these realities into such clear view, instead of blaming Chandler for showing them a glimpse of a life beyond their air conditioned living rooms.
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