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The Long Goodbye [Paperback]

Raymond Chandler
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 12, 1988
Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he's divorced and re-married and who ends up dead. and now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.

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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


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 (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
174 of 180 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever? I really think so. April 15, 1998
By A Customer
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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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Down these mean streets a man must go..," 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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chandler's very best! July 28, 1999
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Pulp Fiction
Stylish prose and quick moving plot kept me interested to the very end. As the title suggests, Philip Marlowe keeps running into a man he helps. Read more
Published 1 day ago by mfikaris
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I loved this book. I could just picture Robert Mitchum in his trenchcoat, fedora and a cigarette standing in the rain. Read more
Published 6 days ago by barbara willets
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
For an old book it held my suspence to the end.
Published 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
What an amazing read. Marlowe is one of the most complex characters I've come across in a long time and Chandler did a great job. He's witty, intelligent and fearless. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Ruth Hebert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good story, interesting
Published 15 days ago by cheri shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of "The Long Goodbye"
The book was entertaining and delightful. I was always fond of Bogey's Marlowe portrayal. The story was written as a script. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Juan M. Rodriguez
2.0 out of 5 stars I've read better
This is the first Raymond Chandler book I've read, and if this is an example of his writing style, I don't think I'll be reading anymore of his works. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Liam Person
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is considered the best Chandler wrote by book critics of the...
This book is considered the best Chandler wrote by book critics of the genre and it IS great but I put The Big Sleep as Chandler's best. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Steve Butler
4.0 out of 5 stars Endure the beginning, then enjoy
Painful beginning when you ask yourself who could ever write, or speak, such nonsense. I mean, anybody other than Humphrey Bogart, of course. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Reuel
4.0 out of 5 stars Marlowe Solves The Case...Eventually
The Long Goodbye (1953) finds Marlowe living in a borrowed house in Los Angeles when he meets a down and out drunk and former war hero named Terry Lennox. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Adam
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