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Farewell, My Lovely Paperback – July 12, 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Chandler is not only the best writer of hardboiled PI stories, he's one of the 20th century's top scribes, period. His full canon of novels and short stories is reprinted in trade paper featuring uniform covers in Black Lizard's signature style. A handsome set for a reasonable price.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

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

“[Chandler] wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered.” --The New Yorker

“Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious.” --Robert B. Parker, The New York Times Book Review

“Philip Marlowe remains the quintessential urban private eye.” --Los Angeles Times

“Nobody can write like Chandler on his home turf, not even Faulkner. . . . An original. . . . A great artist.” —The Boston Book Review

“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

“[T]he prose rises to heights of unselfconscious eloquence, and we realize with a jolt of excitement that we are in the presence of not a mere action tale teller, but a stylist, a writer with a vision.” --Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

“Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence.” —Ross Macdonald

“Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude.” --Erle Stanley Gardner

“Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.” --Paul Auster

“[Chandler]’s the perfect novelist for our times. He takes us into a different world, a world that’s like ours, but isn’t. ” --Carolyn See

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (August 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394758277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394758275
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Raymond Chander's second novel is both more and less successful than his first. THE BIG SLEEP suffered from a plot that fell apart in midstream; FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, however, is much more consistent throughout. On the other hand, for all its twists and turns, THE BIG SLEEP was quite plausible; FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, however, is about as farfetched as you can get. But once again, such criticisms are almost beside the point: the great attraction is still Chandler's knock-you-flat prose, his tone of voice, his often imitated but seldom equaled style, and it is so powerful that it keeps you turning page after page after page.
In general, FAREWELL, MY LOVELY once more finds street-smart and super-savvy California P.I. Philip Marlowe sticking his nose where it has no business being--and when curiosity leads him to follow a massively built white man into a black nightclub he finds himself embroiled in a murder no one cares about solving... at least not until it begins to figure in what seems to be a completely different case with a high-society spin. And encounters with stolen jewels, a spiritualist racket, police corruption, and a gambling ship quickly follow.
Along the way Chandler again paints a gritty portrait of the seamy side of life. On this occasion, he takes a passing look at race, and makes the point that from a police point of view two standards apply: the authorities care nothing about the murder of a black man, but they treat a white man's murder very differently indeed.
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Format: Paperback
Farewell My Lovely, Raymond Chandler's second novel in the Philip Marlowe series, transcends the genre it helped to create, and is now (deservedly) viewed by many as literature and as social criticism.
Chandler creates moods and telegraphs emotions via the poetic ramblings and outrageous similes from the mind of Philip Marlowe, the protagonist/detective/narrator who is picked up by the collar and dragged into a murder mystery that exposes not only the hypocrisy beneath the surface in the lifestyles of the rich and beautiful, but ultimately, the depravity of the human condition. And all of this is delivered with a caustic sense of humor, a wry wit, and a hypersensitivity to the visual world and it's translation into the language of the mean streets.
Although Chandler died shortly before I was born, I grew up in L.A., and I can say that the L.A. Chandler wrote of is in many ways the city of my childhood memories, so well did he capture the ambiance and ambivalence of the 'city of angels'.
Some have criticized his plotting and plausability, but emotion, action, and detail were what interested him the most, and in these he excelled. FAREWELL MY LOVELY must be viewed within the context of it's era (published in 1940) to be fully appreciated, but the flow of action, the visual aspect of it's language, and the insights into the very human conflict of corruption verses conscience are timeless.
This book, like the first in the Marlowe series (THE BIG SLEEP) was written at the height of Chandler's creative career, and exemplifies the style that has made him a writer's writer, possibly the most imitated author of the past century.
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Format: Paperback
Raymond Chandler was such a master at his style of prose that you only have to read the first two paragraphs of FAREWELL, MY LOVELY to know exactly what sort of story you're in for. Those two paragraphs perfectly set up the plot that follows: a thriller crossing in and out of the racial divisions of 1940's Los Angeles involving seedy speakeasies, and off-shore gambling, with double-crossing as far as the eye can see. Wonderfully gritty stuff.
This particular Chandler novel has a lot going for it. The hero, Philip Marlowe, is as entertaining as ever. The setting is the familiar scene of other Chandler stories -- alive, heavy and oppressively Los Angeles. The plot is logical, but jumps around a lot, which is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the more it moves around, the more room Chandler has to incorporate evil-doings; I quite lost track of exactly how many crimes are committed or alluded to during the course of the book. No matter how farfetched it is, Chandler's prose is utterly gripping and absorbing.
I think Philip Marlowe must drink his weight in cheap liquor several times over during the course of this adventure, but you can't help but like the guy. He punches, he shoots, he boozes. He even solves the case by the end. He sure takes a beating in this one, but he keeps coming back for more. He's everything a pulp detective should be - angry, arrogant, determined, and with just a hint of pathos to make him interesting enough to carry the story.
The book as a whole is just too appealing and entertaining not to be a fun experience. Chandler is pretty much the benchmark for these sorts of stories about guns, police, and corruption, so if you like the genre, you might as well read the man who invented it. Tough guys yelling, "Beat it!
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