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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-boiled brilliance from the master of noir
As the last novel about the immortal PI Philip Marlowe, "The Long Good-bye" has a lot to live up to. It delivers superbly. The story, a complex web of high society scandal and dark secrets which leads to murder and suicide, is confidently handled and plotted to perfection. Marlowe begins by helping a young drunk out of a car but events soon begin to spiral out...
Published on 5 Dec 2001

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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Product ok but not exactly what i ordered
Product will do and cant complain about delivery but wasnt stated that product cover and intro was actually different from what i believe was ordered- should be stated clearly even if front cover is different- it is a customers perogative to know exactly what they are buying as they would in a physical book shop.
Published on 13 Nov 2010 by Claire716


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-boiled brilliance from the master of noir, 5 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
As the last novel about the immortal PI Philip Marlowe, "The Long Good-bye" has a lot to live up to. It delivers superbly. The story, a complex web of high society scandal and dark secrets which leads to murder and suicide, is confidently handled and plotted to perfection. Marlowe begins by helping a young drunk out of a car but events soon begin to spiral out of control. As the novel progresses, Marlowe tries to act decently in a world that refuses to play fair. However, what raises this, and most of Chandler's work, above the pulp thriller genre, is the concise and relaxed brilliance of the style and the central character.
Reading the novel is a joy: a sardonic smile or bitter laugh a constant companion. Every sentence is steeped in cool and dark humour; every page contains a witty aphorism or observation. The descriptions are economical and precise, but spiced with a spin of disappointed intelligence: more often than not Marlowe describes something as "not" like something else. This clever use of negative simile reflects the tone of the novel: dark and uncompromising about society with a pitch black sense of humour. One interesting fact is that Chandler's observations about society, and particularly American society, are as devastatingly accurate as ever. The message is clear: corruption, whether personal, social or political, is timeless.
The character of Marlowe is similarly timeless: his dry wit and bruised idealism still sympathetic and engaging. He has lost none of his appeal despite being reimagined and reivented so many times by so many writers in the last fifty years. Marlowe remains the most important and impressive protagonist in noir, and in "The Long Good-bye" Chandler confirms that he doesn't just easily attain the accolade of king of noir, he also makes a strong case to be considered among the greats of mid 20th century American literature.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chandler is, quite simply, The Don, 17 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
Having picked up by chance, and really enjoyed "The Big Sleep" I subsequently bought "The Last Goodbye" - and suffice to say it absolutely blew me away. Make absolutely no mistake about it, this is a superb book.
It is as dense and complex as other comments on this page suggest. This was absolutely without question Chandlers finest hour - Marlowe was never more bitter, caustic and cynical than in this book, and Chandler finally reached his peak with his most brutal writing, which was as sparse and unadorned as you could possible wish for. He'd saved every plot twist and every scathing, bitter Marlowe put down for this, and the end result, which stinks of cigarette smoke and whiskey, is glorious.
Frankly, this is the absolute epitome of "Noir" - ice cool, dangerous and moody, and Marlowe is the finest 'anti-hero' around.
Every American crime writer to this day is still left flapping in comparison.
Buy without hesitation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, classy detective fiction of the very best quality, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
I can't tell you how much I love Chandler's poetic, vivid 1940s LA, and his magnificent creation, PI Philip Marlowe, through whose eyes you see that world. I return to Chandler whenever I've just thrown some Booker-nominated piece of rubbish across the room, and need to remind myself what proper writing is. I namecheck him wherever I go but don't seem to sign up too many new recruits. I can't understand why, but I've long since given up wondering, and just go into the kitchen and make myself a drink instead and channel chess-playing, bitter, handsome wreck, Marlowe, the "shop-soiled Galahad" (isn't that perfect?).

Like Dashiell Hammett, Chandler honed his considerable detective novel skills in pulp fiction (he also had a very interesting life prior to that), but neither are throwaway paperback writers. He's also no Hammett. Where Hammett is taking influences from Japan and the taut, terse world of the Samurai, writing exercises in brevity and control, Chandler is somewhere more fluid and lyrical, writing with humour and a style that removes his fiction to an altogether higher plane than your average high street detective. His plots are famously contorted and his one-liners legendary.

Philip Marlowe is a knight errant; he's brave and takes a punch, he makes mistakes and gets back up to finish the job. He's smart and clever - sometimes too smart for his own good. He's lonely but he doesn't make a move to change that. He's a just-good enough man - good enough to have friends where they matter; good enough to deserve to bust open the problem before him and solve it, whatever happens. Where Hammett's Continental Op might stand in a room and let everyone shoot it out, and then cooly unpick the lies everyone has told, Chandler's Marlowe is always diving in and saving somebody and getting his head bashed in in the process. He never makes any money; he's not a "success". But he is, of course, a completely wonderful portrait of a man that doesn't exist.

In "The Long Goodbye" there's a deep life-weariness in Marlowe (Chandler!) which gives a bitter tang to even the most elegant prose. It's as if his world is darkening; the moral ambiguities altogether less ambiguous. I'm not going to describe the story - I'm sure that's been done better by other reviewers. Just read it, please. If you like good writing that tends to the lyrical, you'll have found a lifetime author, one of the ones you'll always want on your bookshelf. Chandler's Marlowe will still be in print when the latest prizewinner with the record-breaking advance has long since been pulped. Which is ironic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down these mean streets a man must go..., 3 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
A crime classic,read this then read the rest of his works.Chandler has the knack of putting you in Marlowes shoes has he tries to use every instinct he has to crack this case.Recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great, 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
I guess I was expecting more. Marlowe does deliver a good line here and there, but there's not much in the way of an investigation and some of the stuff he does figure out, seems contrived. I don't like it when a detective just knows something withoug figuring it out somehow. Plus Marlowe just throws himself into the guy's life with no good reason. I didn't buy into to that and Marlowe seems to have no fear or vices really. Maybe I was expecting more after seeing this was one of the top detective novels of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 8 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Kindle Edition)
For some people, the USA in the 50s was a golden age when values were simpler, the country was top dog and people believed in the 'American way'. Chandler hated it. Speaking through his creation - Philip Marlowe - he pours scorn on the love of money, the hypocrisy, crime and corruption and the shallowness of life in and around Los Angeles. Tough, unrelenting, the last honest man in a twisted, drunken and spoilt society, Marlowe is hard on others, and harder on himself. But he is true classic, the archetype that all other crime writers have to live up to. And what one-liners: "She slid away from him along the seat but her voice slid away a lot farther than that" Cold? "A slice of spumoni wouldn't have melted on her now".
The plot has surprises, guys with guns, a sense of mystery...but it is the way he tells it that makes this book unputdownable. If Chandler didn't like the way America was going in the 50s, goodness knows what he would have made of it now. But this book - and the hero who doesn't like money and what it does to people - puts down a marker that will last a very long time. There is not enough writing like this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chandler's master work, 21 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
This is Chandler at his best. To me, this book isn't just a crime book, it's a meditation on the nature of friendship, loyalty, and alcoholism. Sure there's a murder, there's a missing man, and there's a payday for Philip Marlowe if he solves the case, so all the elements of a crime story are in place. Marlowe becomes friends with a drunk named Terry Lennox, who then goes missing. His wife is also murdered. Marlowe goes after Lennox, not because of the money, but because he is his friend. Marlowe is then hired to look after a writer, who is a violent drunk and potential killer. These two stories eventually link up - and the main link is ruined lives through booze. Through all this, Marlowe gets bounced around by gangsters and given the run around. It's another typical mazy plot, but this isn't really a plot driven story. It's character driven. Marlowe meets, drinks, and debates, with a host of characters who all have hard luck stories to tell. They are so well drawn, so real, that the insights on their lives have a wider meaning. Chandler is talking about a whole strata of American life. I'd put this up there with The Great Gatsby, an American tragedy, written through the genre of the crime novel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic crime., 2 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. A. M. Provasoli (Gibraltar.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Hardcover)
I had obviously heard of, but never read, Raymond Chandler.

For some time I had been meaning to read one of his books and the opportunity presented itself quite recently when Hamish Hamilton re-printed 5 of his better known novels to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.

I have now read all 5 including "The Long Good-bye".

At first I was concerned that I might find the books somewhat dated but it became clear very early on in my reading that this would not be the case.

These books are master-pieces of crime fiction and are ageless.

The topics that they deal with are just as relevant today as they were when the books were written. The characters are very realistic as is the society that they portray.

For those who enjoy the crime genre these books are a must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He enjoyed reading it, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Paperback)
another book for my freind who asked me if I could find the title for him. He enjoyed reading it again
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first Chandler, 28 April 2014
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This review is from: The Long Good-bye (Kindle Edition)
A page turner for sure... annoyingly so. I couldn't put it down. A pleasure to read. Recommended holiday poolside ;)
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The Long Good-bye
The Long Good-bye by Raymond Chandler (Paperback - 28 Oct 2010)
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