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The Long Goodbye Paperback – August 12, 1988


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The Long Goodbye + The Big Sleep (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) + Farewell, My Lovely
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (August 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394757688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394757681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

Great characters, complex stories, wonderfully paced.
A. Sampson
Every time I finish reading one of Chandler's Marlowe novels, I end up feeling depressed, because it's one less Chandler novel that I can read for the first time.
Ivan Askwith
No matter one's opinion of the main characters or plot, one is amazed at the emotion that Chandler is able to drag out of his readers.
Susan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

167 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Askwith on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Every time I finish reading one of Chandler's Marlowe novels, I end up feeling depressed, because it's one less Chandler novel that I can read for the first time. In my mind, he's that good -- he is one of the only writers that I am consistenly incapable of setting down to go to sleep... I finished the last half of "The Long Goodbye" at about 5:00 am -- I was so wrapped up in it, that I failed to notice the time. Alas. Now, as for that review...
IF YOU HAVEN'T READ ANY CHANDLER, you should stop reading this and go take a look at his first Marlowe novel, The Big Sleep. It's worthwhile to read them in order, or at the least, to read that one first... you'll get a good feeling for whether or not you like Marlowe, and you'll learn a bit more about him. Then, if you like that, come back and take another look at this review.
IF YOU HAVE READ OTHER CHANDLER, then you already know, to some degree, what you're in for. You know Chandler's style, and I can promise you that this book offers up more of it, in abundance. I was a little thrown off for the first 50-some pages, because Marlowe has moved out of his trademark apartment and into a small house in a quiet residential neighborhood, and that didn't jive with me... but it works. Marlowe is, in his way, maturing. (If you've read his unfinished final work, Poodle Springs, then you know Marlowe will eventually get married. Perhaps this evolution says as much about Chandler as about his beloved P.I.)
Once the plot starts moving, of course, you're just along for the ride. Like all Marlowe novels, you have that perfect feeling of riding shotgun in the mind and conscience of a fascinating and well-developed character, and it's enough to sustain you through WHATEVER Chandler cares to write about.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first read "The Long Goodbye" in 1976, before I had read any other Raymond Chandler novels. The book practically set off an explosion in my brain -- I have been fascinated by Chandler ever since. No other book by Chandler matches this one's emotional tone.
This isn't a mystery novel, it is a great piece of literature. It is about friendship, love and betrayal. And the plot is complex and satisfying. Marlowe is defeated and in pain, and very, very alone.
I have read "Goodbye" three times since 1977 -- most recently last year -- and every time I am just amazed at the effect the book has on me. It possibly just touches me personally, but I really believe it deserves a rating among the great books of all time.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Plotkin on February 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book, the penultimate novel in noir pioneer Raymond Chandler's series of novels featuring private eye Philip Marlowe, is my candidate for the best American novel of the post world war 2 era. From the time he launched the Marlowe novels with the epochal The Big Sleep in 1939, it was crystal clear that Chandler viewed the detective novel as a vessel to be filled with pungent social commentary, an almost metaphysical portrait of a world gone wrong (call it Los Angeles), sharp character studies, and a fireworks display of the literary possibilities of the American vernacular. Chandler used the bits and pieces of the private eye/noir conventions as a coatrack to hang his stylistic concerns and dark worldview. He has more in common with Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner than he does with contemporaries like Hammett and Cain. (and very often he is the equal of Max Perkins' big boys).

Chandler recycled the same story elements over and over again, knowing plot has nothing to do with story. All of his novels go something like this: Marlowe gets hired to help someone out of a jam, closes the case pretty quickly, but the solution has raised more questions than answered. Marlowe pursues the truth on his own, realizes his client has been concealing a past crime from him and he had initially been hired to tidy up the loose ends. Along the way he narrowly escapes seduction by a dark lady and a fair lady, is arrested and threatened by the cops, beaten up by hoods, and goes nose to nose with a fearsome but super-smart crime boss, who invariably is less corrupt than the wealthy clients or the police. At the end Marlowe solves the latent mystery behind the first one, and closure only leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This epic Raymond Chandler novel is his most finely crafted and perhaps the best ever of its genre. Featuring Chandler's world-weary private detective, it mixes an intriguing plot with fascinating social comment. The plot concerns Marlowe's dealings with a drunk named Terry Lennox and his role in an escape from a murder charge to Mexico. Most of the novel, however is taken up in the rich suburbs of L.A. It has everything that all the best Chandler/Marlowe books have, clever, poetic, often humourous dialogue, cynicism, characters who seem tired of life and yet so full of it, and the sun-drenched L.A. setting. Those used to the more pacy narrative writings such as 'The Big Sleep' and 'The Lady in the Lake' may be a tad cool on this book as it spends as much time dissecting the lives of its downtrodden characters as it does unfold the plot. The later film version, brilliant though it is, does not even do this book justice. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!
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