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The Big Sleep & Farewell, My Lovely Hardcover – May 2 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (May 2 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679601406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679601401
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 13.1 x 3.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #556,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Seeing as how "The Big Sleep" and "Farewell, My Lovely" are the first two Philip Marlowe detective novels that Raymond Chandler wrote (published in 1939 and 1940, respectively), this is a grand place for a Chandler novice to begin pursuing the morally decrepit alleys and boulevards of the rich and not-so-rich in Los Angeles.
One thing you should note is that Chandler held the conventional detective stories (think: Agatha Christie) in disdain. Ergo, any attempt of mine to barf back the plots to you is a waste of time. They are so complex that you often forget exactly what happened shortly after you finish reading the books themselves...which doesn't detract from their quality whatsoever mind you. It's been told often enough that after their publication, Chandler often didn't even know what was going on in his own novels!
Suffice to say that both books concern murder among the wealthy elites in L.A. during Chandler's life--a time when the city was a lot smaller than its present size, and more hostile to outsiders--particularly to people of color. "The Big Sleep" concerns a disappearance and a reclusive millionaire and his two daughters (one is a mentally deranged nymphomaniac; the other is a bit more sensible, but no less shady) and the lengths he'll go to protect them. While this isn't the best Marlowe novel, this is probably the best place to start. Plus, it got made into a pretty good movie starring Bogie and Bacall.
"Farewell, My Lovely" is perhaps the most politically incorrect of the Marlowe books. It starts off with a murder at a bar in South Central L.A. and extends its tentacles into jewel heists and gambling rings where it is difficult to ascertain exactly who is doing what to whom. In Chandler's L.A., nothing is what it seems.
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Format: Hardcover
I've always believed that Chandler was one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century. Read these two novels and try to disagree with me.
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Format: Hardcover
Raymond Chandler's creation, Philip Marlowe, is a character that has influenced modern fiction greatly. Without Marlowe the archetype of "private dick" would not carry the cultural weight that it does today. It is true that the plot lines of many Chandler works are contorted to the point of no return, but it is not the plot that counts. The reason why these books are so successful is because we the reader become enthralled by Marlowe and his immediate knowledge of all things that surround him. Because Chandler made Marlowe such a carefully wrought character, Farewell, My Lovely becomes an examination of the human character rather than a list of dastardly deeds committed by crooks without depth. Every scene is an interaction between fully developed characters. He defines himself in relation to the people and actions that whirl in and out of his life. Marlowe offers us plenty of insight into his opinion of his relations. Because he is such an endearing person we want to believe every word he says. He is a product of the LA scene where he works. We the reader build confidence in our hero because he is capable of sizing up any situation immediately. Slowly we learn to trust Marlowe�s way of navigating the underbelly of LA. I truly enjoyed Farewell, My Lovely because Chandler forces through Marlowe an undeniable wit and charm. He will make you laugh and draw you into his brand of thinking about other characters. I wonder sometimes when reading Chandler about how Marlowe would size me up. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about interesting characters and loves a wry wit and dark charm.
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By A Customer on Sept. 17 1999
Format: Hardcover
Glad to see Raymond Chandler in a new edition, he's one of the best. His writing crackles. It's witty and poetic, a joy to read and re-read. Nothing like him has come out in the last forty years, except a part-spoof, part-serious leap into the 'hardboiled' genre called A Manual Of Etiquette For Ladies Crossing Canada By Train, handsome detective and gorgeous perp, brilliant language, on a transcontinental Canadian train, downing drinks in the club car. Hope more young writers take their lessons from Chandler. Marlowe is one of the great 20th century creations.
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