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The Long Goodbye Paperback – Aug 12 1988
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From Library Journal
Chandler is not only the best writer of hardboiled PI stories, he's one of the 20th century's top scribes, period. His full canon of novels and short stories is reprinted in trade paper featuring uniform covers in Black Lizard's signature style. A handsome set for a reasonable price.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Raymond Chandler is a master." --The New York Times
“[Chandler] wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered.” --The New Yorker
“Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious.” --Robert B. Parker, The New York Times Book Review
“Philip Marlowe remains the quintessential urban private eye.” --Los Angeles Times
“Nobody can write like Chandler on his home turf, not even Faulkner. . . . An original. . . . A great artist.” —The Boston Book Review
“Raymond Chandler was one of the finest prose writers of the twentieth century. . . . Age does not wither Chandler’s prose. . . . He wrote like an angel.” --Literary Review
“[T]he prose rises to heights of unselfconscious eloquence, and we realize with a jolt of excitement that we are in the presence of not a mere action tale teller, but a stylist, a writer with a vision.” --Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books
“Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence.” —Ross Macdonald
“Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude.” --Erle Stanley Gardner
“Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.” --Paul Auster
“[Chandler]’s the perfect novelist for our times. He takes us into a different world, a world that’s like ours, but isn’t. ” --Carolyn See
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Top Customer Reviews
One of these themes is the nature of friendship. At the start of the book, Philip Marlowe, a well established literary character notorious for being a cynical loner, finds a friend. The friend's name is Terry Lennox and he's what could be described as a lovable lush. When Terry confesses to committing a brutal crime, Marlowe is unable to believe his friend could ever be capable of such a thing and, against all odds, looks to vindicate him.
Along the way, Marlowe meets Eileen and Roger Wade, an unhappily married couple who belong to roughly the same privileged social circle as Terry. A fabulously successful writer of romance novels, Roger is also a tormented alcoholic. A good deal of the book is concerned with examining the Wades' dysfunctional marriage.
This is a wonderful book, full of insight and bursting with humanity. It is a marvelous showcase for Raymond Chandler at the height of his literary powers. Highly recommended.
There are a couple of things I've always admired in Chandler.
First, he conveys everything in scene. After an obligatory physical description, everybody is characterized through dialog or action. As a result, the plot flies by, and we are treated to a very concrete, participatory read.
Second, Philip Marlowe tells us almost nothing about himself or his background or even what he's thinking, but we know him better than we know ourselves, thanks to the gritty voice, the nature of his observations, and the conclusions he makes about his world.
"Goodbye" does these things, but slides more towards self-introspection. There are lengthy passages where Marlowe spends time by himself. These passages could seem awkward to the die-hard hardboiled detective fan, but they work. They also show Chandler's writing ability.
In "Goodbye," a writer of popular novels plays a prominent role. Roger Wade writes romance best-sellers; he despises his own genre novels and aspires to write more literary fiction. As a reader of "Goodbye," it's easy to see the paralells between Wade and Chandler, and "Goodbye" seems to be an attempt to write something "literary."
But based on the success of "Goodbye" on its literary merits, it's evident that Chandler wrote the hardboiled dectective novels because he wanted to; not because he couldn't do anything else.
And certainly Marlowe is the father of a whole bunch of bastard children. Spenser, the oldest, his brother Dave Robicheaux, the darker cousins Lucas (Davenport) and no, not Elvis but Joe Pike.
Juxtapose that against the beauty and insight of Chandler's writing, his voice resonating with the truth about, say relationships. He writes about the war-hero, shattered after the trauma of death, through the words of his wife: "I love my husband. Not as a young girl. That's passed. That man I loved then died in the war. But I love him."
The names and notions intertwine. Marlowe's loyalty to Terry Lennox is the stuff of The Knights of the Realm. The women are tough and knowledgeable. The time is past. Or is it?
Top shelf writing from a man who wrote little but said a lot.
The novel begins with Marlowe's recollection of his brief but close friendship with a man named Terry Lennox, an alcoholic socialite with an apparently war-scarred past and an unfaithful wife who happens to be the daughter of one of the country's richest men. One day Lennox shows up at Marlowe's house and asks him to drive him to Mexico; Marlowe concedes, and upon returning finds out that Lennox's wife has been murdered. Soon Lennox is reported to have committed suicide after sending Marlowe a "portrait of Madison."
Some time later, Marlowe is contacted by a book publisher with a request to "babysit" a man named Roger Wade, a popular writer of trashy novels, who has a penchant for violent drinking binges and tends to disappear for days at a time. Marlowe is uninterested in the job at first, but after Wade's stunningly beautiful wife Eileen hires him to find her missing husband, he becomes enmeshed in their affairs.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book defines a genre on its own. Its like everything you like about film noir or hard boiled detective stories came from this novel. Read morePublished on July 22 2014 by Joe G
Easy 2 read in kindle format
& chandlers hero is cool 2 the nth degree
& the story is well written & exciting
I enjoy Chandler's prose as much as the next person but the colorful descriptives and tough-guy dialog can sometimes start to wear after a few hundred pages. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2002 by g4cube
Twenty years after I read it the first time, I still hold the same conclusion: The Long Goodbye really might be THE Great American Novel. Period. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2002
Suppose life begins to look like it is being viewed through the bottom of a shot glass. The people you see are only marking time until the next powerplay, drink, or fix, or lover. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2002 by desefinado
With the grim inevitability of Robert Bloch's Psycho (ie. a chain of death that looks as if it may not stop), and the wry social commentary of a newer... Read more
Chandler is the ultimate dialogue writer and he has a truly impressive grasp of human behaviour.
Through Marlowe's cynical but honest look, he creates the most lovable... Read more
As detective fiction goes, Chandler's novel is as good as it gets. His protagonist is the charmingly frank Philip Marlowe ("It wasn't any of my business. So I ...looked in. Read morePublished on March 2 2002 by Ashley