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Farewell, My Lovely (Penguin Fiction) Paperback – 7 Jul 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014010979X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140109795
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.9 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'One of the greatest crime writers, who set the standards others still try to attain' Sunday Times 'Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence' - Ross MacDonald 'Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the first sentence' Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Best-known as the creator of the original private eye, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and died in 1959. Many of his books have been adapted for the screen, and he is widely regarded as one of the very greatest writers of detective fiction.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 May 2006
Format: Paperback
This is my first Marlow novel. I cherish its rememberance. I read it when I was about 15 and came like a blow in the stomach. Then I read all Marlow novels in a row.

Marlow is hired to protect a man while he perfoms some business. The man is killed and Marlow begins to investigate. It contains all the good topics of the black series: a honest, tough detective, beautiful gals, tough policemen, dirty politics, runaway gangsters...

This is a detection novel, but also - like good detective novels like Maigret, Waallander, Hammet - a social satire, a raw criticism of USA society and particularly of the affluent, rich, care-for-nothing upper class. The power of money can deform everybody, and little hope is there for the innocent or honest. Morality is nowhere to be found but in some obscure detective, some bitter police officers who cannot do anything about it.

But what I liked best was the clever dialoges, the witty conversation, the inteligent twists in the plot, which takes a new turn in every chapter. In the end, it was not so complicated. It was only a woman and a lot of money. But brother, it was worth the trouble.

In the end, love will take a rush at saving if only poetically those who are foolish enough to belive in love.

Worth the time.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 July 2001
Format: Paperback
farewell my lovely is a superb example of Chandlers works showing that his use of dialogue coupled with his use of first person narrative creates an atmosphere that draws you in and won't let you go . The story itself is enough to keep the reader interested and so it is not surprising that this tail of a missing girl who has disapeared without a trace and one mans search for her can compell you to just keep on reading, I myself was late for work because of it. I think that the main appeal of this book is that it was written some sixty years ago and yet is still capturing peoples imaginations and still has an apeal that can't quite be fully explained, the style is serious dealing with race issues displaying the American polices indifference towards Blacks at the time (late 1930s) and humorous at the same purely because the mian character in this, and many other Chandler stories, Phillip Marlowe, has some superb lines that will make you smile if not laugh out loud. The dialogue is just perfect the banter the narrative and the serious investigative side of it all seeming to show that Chandler has thought alot about what the actual content of the book would be, rather than relying entirely on the story to sell itelf. This book covers alot of ground including many plot twists but still doesn't seem far fetched or ridiculous in fact it is a better book because of the plot complications . All in all one of the best books i have ever read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
The wonderfully gritty language and menacing atmosphere of any Chandler novel is ever-present in this deep-noir adventure, to immediately grip the reader and dazzle her on every page. Characters come with a sizzling edge of hyper-reality - dames, dicks, shysters and poodles in a litany of love for the reeking underworld of Los Angeles in its heyday.

On a nothing of a job, Marlowe gets caught up with a brute in love - Moose Molloy is out of the slammer and looking for his lady, Velma. But Velma doesn't want to be found and the trail Marlowe is accidentally forced to follow runs cold before taking a distinctly dangerous angle.

As always the plot is labyrinthine and unguessable until well-over halfway through, but it's the wisecracks that make it all worth while as Chandler takes us on a thrill-packed roller-coaster ride, complete with enough twists, tunnels, and turns to satisfy any reader. But it is in the quieter moments of meditation that come with a high literary value that Chandler reveals a poetic sensibility and intelligence that might suggest he is wasted on crime. I would argue, however, (and many critics would agree with me) that it is also here that we find the crossover abilities that put his merit too high for any banal classification. Chandler is always more than just a crime writer. Reading his work is always pure, unalloyed pleasure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By conjunction on 30 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't read a lot of thrillers and this is the first Chandler I've read. As many have said before, this is a step and a half above your average good thriller, the reason being the wit and intelligence of the prose, the elegance of the descriptions and the understanding of character which is compassionate, passionate and cynical all at the same time.

His flip one-liners aren't just clever, but oil the wheels of the plot. Some of the references I couldn't understand, they belong to the period or the locality, but the plot moves along because the characters find common ground by means of their expressions in the shifting sands of what is acceptable and what is not in the way of behaviour.

Another thing is that reading this is a bit like watching a film, Los Angeles comes to life before your eyes.

On the downside there's a slight sense of not looking very far beneath the surface, it would slow the book down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Officer Dibble VINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
And you think 'The Big Sleep' is complicated? I dont know what is happening in the plot of this novel but, after a while, who cares anyway? Marlowe wisecracks his way around late 1930's Los Angeles taking a succession of sappings, druggings, pistol-whippings whilst consuming gallons of hard liqour.

There are five expositions of the plot before a befuddled Anne Riordan accuses Marlowe of 'guesswork'. Some of the one-liners and dialogue are just priceless. Of the gorgeous Mrs Grayle he says, 'she gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket' before topping it with, 'Whatever you needed, wherever you happened to be - she had it'.

Other reviewers rate this as Chandler's finest but I have reservations. Occasionally, the wisecracking is almost intrusive, 'I know I talk too smart' and even Grayle admonishes with, '..this isn't a bunch of gag lines , Mr Marlowe'. I feel guilty saying it, but at times 'Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid' flashed before me!Such reservations are akin to a speck of dust on the Crown Jewels.

Be aware that the novel has some unpleasant baggage, as various nasty prejudices are stridently espoused. Chandler cannot resist some nods to the detective novel genre (Sherlock, Philo Vance and Dr. Fell) as well as giving Ernest Hemingway a right kicking.

It's dark, corrupt and hard-boiled, yet it sparkles with wit and is beautifully paced.
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