Farewell, My Lovely Hardcover – 2 Apr 2009
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'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
'Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the [start].' (The Daily Telegraph)
'One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards others still try to attain.' (The Sunday Times)
'Chandler is an original stylist, creator of a character as immortal as Sherlock Holmes.' (Anthony Burgess) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I've said all that without really touching on the main draw (in my opinion) of the book - Marlowe. I'll let Chandler say it like it is:
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective 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. He talks as the man of his age talks, that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness."
-- The Simple Art of Murder; the words mean streets were an inspiration for the title of Martin Scorsese's film Mean Streets.
Now buy this book and dangle before I start pumpin' lead!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only my second Chandler, after The Big Sleep, which I found medium-compelling. This was less so, but still fast and snappy.Published 8 months ago by Eric A Schuss
I'm a big fan of Chandler and simply love the balance of cynical and humour. His detail and exploration of the everyday is superbPublished 11 months ago by Roger. D