Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding dialogue and description, 9 Dec 2008
This review is from: Farewell, My Lovely (Penguin Fiction) (Paperback)
I often wonder if Chandler ever structured the plot before he started. He wrote a lot of short stories for the pulps before he moved on to novels. I read somewhere that this story was two shorter stories into one so he was happy to reuse material that he had previously produced. This is maybe why his novels get weaker as he is trying to make up new material. The High Window his third novel is reputedly the first one he had to make up from scratch.

If you want to know what the plot is look elsewhere as it is hardly matters. The book is in the first person so you only see the world through Marlowe's eyes. He gives you what description he wants to give you and only occasionally lets you know his feelings.

All the dialogue is sharp and witty. You would like to believe that people really did talk like that but it must have been produced after hours of honing at his typewriter.

Philip Marlowe gets involved after meeting Moose Malloy in a bar. Some of the language when talking about blacks is shocking to us now but was a product of the time. The police were not really interested when Moose Malloy killed a black barman.

A second story kicks in and Marlowe is out looking for people as murders take place and he gets kidnapped. You don't have to worry if you have forgotten the plot as at the end Chandler will wrap it all up for you by way of an explanation by Marlowe to one of the other characters. It is handy for the reader as by that time unless you read the book at one sitting you will have forgotten.

I like reading Chandler books slowly as that language is so clever and you don't want to rush over the descriptions and dialogue just with a view to getting on with the plot. the plot doesn't matter.

I am now going to spoil myself and read The Big sleep is first and most well known book as it was so successfully filmed with Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe

Chandler created a whole world that was his own and he is the master of it.

Another great read.
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4.5 out of 5 stars (26 customer reviews)
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Peter Wade
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Location: Colchester England

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