The Big Sleep & Farewell, My Lovely Hardcover – May 2 1995
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From the Inside Flap
These two classic novels featuring private eye Philip Marlowe made Raymond Chandler's name synonymous with America's hard-boiled school of crime fiction. The Big Sleep was an instant success when first published in 1939. It centers around a paralyzed California millionaire with two psychopathic daughters; he involves Marlowe in a case of blackmail that turns into murder.
Farewell My Lovely, which Chandler regarded as his finest work, came out the following year. It has Marlowe dealing with the Los Angeles gambling circuit, a murder he stumbles upon, and three very beautiful but potentially deadly women.
"Chandler writes like a slumming angel and invests the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence," said Ross Macdonald. And George V. Higgins wrote: "Chandler is fun to read. He's as bleak as tundra, and his dirtbag characters far outnumber his stellar citizens, but Philip Marlowe is a laconic tour guide through a zoo of truly interesting animals."
From the Back Cover
"Chandler did not write about crime, or detection--as he insisted he did not. He wrote about the corruption of the human spirit, using Philip Marlowe as his disapproving angel, and he knew about it, down to the marrow."
--George V. Higgins
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Always been a big fan of Philip Marlowe and other gumshoes writers Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, and writers Joseph Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.Published 5 months ago by Paul Bartley
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.Published on June 3 2002 by John L. Sheppard
Raymond Chandler was not just a mystery writer, but a keen observer of the human condition. In this edition, two of his Philip Marlowe novels are collected in one volume. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 1998 by johnglor94
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