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4.5 out of 5 stars45
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on 2 September 2014
Excellent from beginning to end. Marlowe's turns of phrase and the author's ability to set a scene perfectly in so few words never ceases to impress and entertain.
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on 6 December 2013
the book arrived even before the due date and it was as good as new!
A very good read as well, if you like detective stories you should get this one!
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on 4 April 2014
Wonderful descriptions. Story moves at great speed. Makes you feel you are there! Shows great understanding of human nature, Timeless.
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2012
Farewell My Lovely is perhaps my favourite of all Raymond Chandler's books, although he was not a prolific author and there aren't too many to choose from. I guess he was a perfectionist. Like all his novels, it has a memorable beginning, this time with Philip Marlowe spotting a man outside a bar wearing a sports coat with golfballs on it for buttons and alligator shoes with 'white explosions on the toes'. His curiosity leads him to several bruising encounters with local gangsters.

What I like most about Farewell is the evocation of Bay City, a respectable Californian seaside community which hides a grimy heart. I love his descriptions of the town: 'Beyond the electroliers, beyond the beat and toot of the small sidewalk cars, beyond the smell of hot fat and popcorn and the small children and the barkers in the peep shows, beyond everything but the smell of the ocean... I walked almost alone now'. The only person writing anything at all like this at the time was Graham Green in Brighton Rock.

The characters are all memorable from six-foot Moose Malloy ('not wider than a beer truck'), to corrupt police sergeants to a would-be female detective. The dialogue is snappy and the pace is always full-on. Whilst many other writers of the time (such as Agatha Christie) seem like quaint period pieces, Chandler is still as fresh and modern as the day he was first published.

On the downside, the slang and volcabulary confuse me. People drink gimlets and big houses have portes-coucheres. But it hardly seems to matter. You just get swept along by the prose.

Thanks, then, to Penguin for reprinting Chandler's entire output in these handsome new covers with short and sweet introductions from contemporary crime hacks. I think the author would have loved them.
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on 4 March 2011
"'Cute little redhead,' she said slowly and thickly. 'Yeah, I remember her. Song and dance. Nice legs and generous with 'em.'"
-- from the back cover

Farewell, My Lovely is the second of Raymond Chandler's novels featuring the definitive hardboiled PI Philip Marlowe. It is also, arguably, the best.

Moose Malloy is looking for Velma, the girl he was going to marry, before doing a stretch for armed robbery. Marlowe agrees to help, little realising he will end up dealing with gangsters, femmes fatale, drugs, blackmail and murder.

The writing is, as ever with Chandler, descriptive and evocative but also humorous.

"Chandler maintained that a classic is a piece of writing 'which exhausts the possibilities of its form and can hardly be surpassed'. And whilst there may be no such thing as the 'perfect' detective story, Farewell, My Lovely comes as close to such a demanding ideal as the reader is ever likely to find."
-- Colin Dexter (from the introduction)

"Perhaps the most literate hard-boiled novel ever written, Farewell explodes with metaphors and allusions."
-- William Marling,Ph.D. Professor of English, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

"Raymond Chandler is a master."
--The New York Times

"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

For those who like Chandler's 'Marlowe' books the following is a list of his works:

The Big Sleep: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (Penguin Fiction) (1939)
Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
The High Window: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (1942)
The Lady in the Lake (A Philip Marlowe Novel) (1943)
The Little Sister: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (1949)
The Long Good-bye (1953)
Playback (1958)
Trouble is My Business (a collection of short stories featuring Philip Marlowe. Originally published before The Big Sleep between 1934-1939)

Also available is the film version starring Dick Powell Murder, My Sweet - Farewell My Lovely [1944] [DVD] and an audio adaptation Farewell My Lovely (Classic Chandler).
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on 22 November 2015
Only my second Chandler, after The Big Sleep, which I found medium-compelling. This was less so, but still fast and snappy.
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on 18 November 2013
Very much of its era with some use of unconventional language that one had to interpret, but overall a good read.
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on 30 May 2016
Have read it many times and I think it gets better every time
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on 13 August 2011

Classic Raymond Chandler novel, great read.

Don't make the same mistake I made and buy this edition - search for the Big Sleep and Other Novels - 3 novels, this, the Big Sleep and the Long Goodbye bundled together for 50p less than this one title.The Big Sleep and Other Novels (Penguin Modern Classics)
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on 13 September 2014
The best of it style and genre
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