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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
Marlowe speeds through five days in Los Angeles following a plot of Byzantine proportions among a feast of mouth-watering characters(Eddie Mars,the Sternwoods,Arthur Gwynn Geiger,Joe Brody,Lash Canino). The first paragraph is sublime and it goes on from there. Speed, economy, precision, fantastic evocation of place.

One liners to die for, 'She'd make a jazzy...
Published on 18 April 2009 by Officer Dibble

versus
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing Chapter!
Am I the only person to have noticed that in this edition Chapter 21 of The Long Goodbye is repeated and Chapter 22 is missing? A pretty crucial chapter, too.

These are the three best Philip Marlowe novels, The Long GoodBye in particular is Chandler's masterpiece. Ordinarily, they'd deserve the full five stars, but not this edition. I will amend when the...
Published 13 months ago by Mr. Daniel Adler


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing Chapter!, 21 July 2013
By 
Mr. Daniel Adler (UK) - See all my reviews
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Am I the only person to have noticed that in this edition Chapter 21 of The Long Goodbye is repeated and Chapter 22 is missing? A pretty crucial chapter, too.

These are the three best Philip Marlowe novels, The Long GoodBye in particular is Chandler's masterpiece. Ordinarily, they'd deserve the full five stars, but not this edition. I will amend when the omission is corrected.

Also, a way of easily reporting such issues might be an idea, Amazon.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 18 April 2009
By 
Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Marlowe speeds through five days in Los Angeles following a plot of Byzantine proportions among a feast of mouth-watering characters(Eddie Mars,the Sternwoods,Arthur Gwynn Geiger,Joe Brody,Lash Canino). The first paragraph is sublime and it goes on from there. Speed, economy, precision, fantastic evocation of place.

One liners to die for, 'She'd make a jazzy weekend,but she'd be wearing for a steady diet.' or 'Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in; although only one of them was dead' or 'What did it matter where you lay once you were dead?..You were dead,you were sleeping the big sleep..'. Sublime.

All of this is told in the first person with Marlowe's world-weary,sardonic,cynical mix in your head.

However, there seems to me to be a lull or hiatus after Brady is shot and Carol Lundgren is handed over to the police. On the one hand,how could Chandler keep the quality and pace going at such a sublime level but on the other hand is The Big Sleep really two short stories being welded into a single novel? You could quite easily stick a Part 1/Part 2 divider circa page 85/90. The whole premise for Part 2 is really the search for Rusty Regan and the reason given by Marlowe is that 'he thought' this was what General Sternwood really wanted (rather than sorting out the bribery).

The two long speeches by Marlowe to Vivian in the final chapter almost smack of Chandler trying to justify the 'Part 2' of the novel. It is interesting to note that Chandler wrote three times more short stories than novels. Thoughts anyone?

Other gripes are that Chandler is a maestro with the verbal banter but not so comfortable on the more physical side - witness Marlowe/Vivian after the heist at Eddie Mars' casino. Maybe this was also a Hays/censorship issue? Also there is some pretty aggressive homophobic stuff so be warned.

The overall novel is still a nailed on five star read. Please note that this edition is fantastic value as it includes Farewell My Lovely and The Long Good-bye so get three classics almost for the price of one!

If ever stranded on a Desert Island the first 90 pages would be amongst my top ten picks of anything I have ever read in any kind of literature - sublime.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition could do better, 24 Jan 2012
By 
dom_p (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I love these novels but I have some reservations about the Kindle edition.
The text is formatted with a wide left margin - I can't see any good reason for this. Table of contents only lists the 3 novels, and no chapter to chapter navigation (5 way navigation only moves novel to novel). All the free ebooks I've had from Project Gutenberg get this stuff right, so why can't Penguin Books? After all they're a major publisher, and charging almost as much for the ebook as the paperback edition.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Classics, 25 Oct 2002
This review is from: The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Ernest Hemingway, in between drinking gallons of booze and writing those cute short sentences of his, once observed that all American literature comes from Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn'. He was right in a sense. Twain's novel was the first to deal with the archetypal North American conflict between city and wilderness, the demands of civilisation and the lure of freedom. You can see Huck right up to the present day: in J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield perhaps, or in Lester Burnham in 'American Beauty'.
And he's right there in Chandler's Philip Marlowe. Forget your Poirots and your Marples. Forget even Sherlock Holmes. Marlowe is the greatest literary detective. What makes him great is his apartness; Chandler's novels are not really about solving mysteries - often the plots don't make a lot of sense - but about the tragedy within the man he created.
Marlowe is tragic. A noble, Arthurian figure (Chandler almost called him Malory, after the author of Morte d'Arthur, but rejected the name as too obvious) he is isolated in the decadent civilisation that surrounds him. He is, as Robert Graves might put it, the one good man in a wholly evil time.
His dilemma - whether to give in to the temptations of the world around him, or to pursue his lonely crusade - is at the centre of each of these novels, and in each novel is explored in a different way. They are all absorbing even though, as I've said, Chandler didn't really care a hoot about plot. (He once said that whenever he ran out of ideas he had a man walk into the room with a gun. So not much pre-planning and storylining going on there, then).
In an essay about detective fiction, Chandler wrote of Marlowe and his Los Angeles:
'Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.'
Such is Chandler's Marlowe. Read him, and be amazed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better on a page than on a Kindle, 17 April 2012
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The Big Sleep like Chandler's other stories had a strong voice and sense of place. An enjoyable read. The experience of reading it on a Kindle was not so good, not because of the usual Kindle experience, but because there are other novels in this publication, the beginning and end of the novel wasn't obvious. With the same protagonist and Chandler's distinctive style I was trying to connect the characters and events of the second novel to the first and was on the third novel before I realised my error. One novel at a time on a Kindle upload or a proper book I think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hero of any time, 23 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
The Big Sleep is a long way from what many readers would see as crime fiction. Colourful, vivid passages full of snappy and memorable characters. Philip Marlowe feels authentic and believeable and the cast of seedy and morally bankrupt characters makes the 'plot' relatively inconsequential when put next to the quality of dialogue and the location. A belting read - following on from The Maltese Falcon, it's a step up in weight really. Most encouragingly, there are no leaps of faith to solve a case or trap a killer, as the great writing doesn't need it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest of the hard-boiled LA crime-writers, 10 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This volume brings together The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, and The Long Goodbye, three of Chandler's best works. In many ways, they are exactly what you expect: tough guys, smart-dressed gangsters, icy-blonde and cold-hearted dames... but there's so much more to it.

Chandler has a great prose style, self-consciously lush, with action driven on by Philip Marlowe's wry narration and sharp, witty dialogue. Each novel revolves around elements of murder-mystery, but they are also about love, addiction, the American Dream, corruption, and changing American Society. The Long Goodbye, published in 1953, is the broadest in its gaze, with a story revolving around the painful legacy of the Second World War, alcoholism, and the far-reaching corruption of money. Marlowe is smart, tough, often inscrutable, but he's no invulnerable Superman, and it is his lingering sense of humanity, forever getting the better of his cynicism, which ultimately endears the character to the reader.

Read these novels: they're great for any fans of noire and of old-fashioned detective stories, but Chandler also deserves to be recognised as a great novelist, not just a hack like so many of his contemporaries (and some of his characters).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original Crime Writing, 20 July 2014
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Mr. Stephen F. Male "Steve" (England) - See all my reviews
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Raymond Chandler is (along with Dashiel Hammett) the godfather of crime writing. These seminal books (3 for the price of 1!!) are brilliant.

The first early story, The Big Sleep, may be slightly marred by old fashioned slang, albeit apt for the time and setting, but he soon gets into a more timeless style with the other two to deliver peerless examples of the crime genre. The Long Goodbye is one of the best crime stories ever written.

If you like crime stories, or just looking for great writing, and would like to read some masterpieces by the most original and arguably the best crime writer ever then this is undoubtedly for you.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime comes of age, 26 Feb 2001
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This review is from: The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
With the arrival of Raymond Chandler on the scene,the noir novel began in earnest.Dashiell Hammett had started the movement,with contributions to Black Mask magazine The Continental -Op stories-- and his ensuing full length output,but the qualities that Chandler brought to the genre,and whose echoes are still felt today(Dennis Lehane,James Ellroy,Robert Parker,etc.etc.)were hugely influential.The world weary Marlowe,a white knight who walks the mean streets in slightly tarnished armour,the exemplar of the lonely P.I.The plots,although not(by Chandler's own admission)always logical,gripped and maintained interest,and,certainly not least,he captured a time and an essence of America and American writing that have so obviously stood the test of time...a Raymond Chandler novel is as valid a piece of literature as anything by Thomas Wolfe,Sherwood Anderson,William Faulkner,Sinclair Lewis,or any of the more contemporary writers of today.Although by the time of "Playback" the powers were waning,all Chandler is well worh reading,and there's a very good chance that once you've experienced "crime taken out of the drawing room",you'll never regard Agatha Christie in quite the same light again.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long goodbye to the master, 21 Dec 2009
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This review is from: The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Finishing this set of novels is like losing a friend. The Long Goodbye also was Chandler's goodbye to his readers. Raymond Chandler only wrote six novels, excluding the controversial postscript Playback, and the other three (The High Window, The Lady in the Lake, and The Little Sister) are best read first. Few will dispute that Chandler was a genius. His work oozes atmosphere. It is packed with witty, imperishable dialogue. The characterisation is strong, and what stereotyping it contains only serves to make it more picturesque. For the universe Chandler created, lodged in 1930s and 40s Los Angeles and ranging from sleazy back alleys to beautiful people's mansions, is one from which we only wrench ourselves with regret.

Hinting at these three novels' storylines would be useless. If this is classified as crime fiction, the plots, somewhat implausible (especially of the last two novels), serve as an excuse for painting a world of danger and corruption into which, in the author's own words, `a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid'. That man is Philip Marlowe, the protagonist of all of Chandler's novels, immortalised by Bogart in the movie adaptation of The Big Sleep. One reason Chandler wrote so little is that he came to writing late in life, publishing his first short story at age forty-five. Chandler fought in the First World War and led a tortured life, no doubt influencing his dark, sarcastic style. But with numerous stories and film scripts to his record, he was also, alongside Dashiell Hammett, a leading figure of what soon became known as the `noir' genre. Chandler's views on detective fiction, and on writing in general, are presented in his succinct The Simple Art of Murder, available online and well worth looking up.
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The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics) by Raymond Chandler (Paperback - 3 Feb 2000)
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