THE LONG GOODBYE BOOK
The Long Goodbye is a novel by Raymond Chandler, published in , his sixth novel featuring the private investigator Philip Marlowe. Some critics consider it inferior to The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely, but others rank it as the best of his work. Chandler, in a letter to a friend, called the novel "my best book". The Long Goodbye book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Down-and-out drunk Terry Lennox has a problem: his millionaire. (Los Angeles Times). In noir master Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. 1, customer reviews. Book 6 of 12 in the A Philip Marlowe Mystery Series.
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The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe Mystery) [Raymond Chandler] on The Long Goodbye: A Novel (Philip Marlowe series Book 6) and millions of other books. The sixth in the Philip Marlowe series, The Long Goodbye is significant not only as the last book Raymond Chandler wrote but as a personal consummation of. The Long Goodbye alone—to many his greatest achievement—has Overall, the Spanish editions seem to hone in on the book's potable.
Apparently, he did not set out to write a Marlowe novel, but eventually lost his nerve.
Wanting to ditch his famous narrator would indicate that the author was aching to spread his proverbial wings, was perhaps gunning for something more personal and with more depth. Both are writers, of course, but both are also struggling with their work. Wade considers himself to be a hack [he writes genre novels, historical bodice-rippers] and is tired of conforming to a formula.
He even mentions his reliance upon similes, which is something that Marlowe [and by extension Chandler] also relies upon. Yet if he was taking a shot at himself here, I think Chandler is wrong to put himself down; for me, great similes are an art, and he was something of a master [he describes one man as having a face like a collapsed lung, for example]. In any case, it is clear that he felt dissatisfied with the writing process, that he found working within the PI, hard-boiled genre restricting.
In fact, all the Wade chapters reminded me of Lowry, and that is a big compliment.
There are still dames, and femme fatales; there are murders and mysteries; there are crooks and hoodlums; and there are plenty of great one-liners, and square-jawed, big-balled machismo. It is simply that these familiar, well-worn things run alongside broader, more satisfying existential, moral concerns, while also delivering characters that we feel as though he get to know and care about. Nor was plot, which, here and elsewhere, is plodding and anti-climatic [although I think that is less of a problem with this particular novel].
A bigger issue, however, is the ending. Indeed, it would be a service to the author to quit about ten pages before the finish line, because the ultimate twist, the reveal [quite literally] is more than a bit silly.
It is such a shame that the book ends in disappointment [for the reader and for Marlowe, I guess], because what precedes those final few pages is fantastic. In any case, The Long Goodbye is fit to stand beside any novel you care to name; it is a Shakespearean tragedy, with a two-day hangover and old lipstick smears on its pillow. Apr 08, Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.
I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally. We're not the first city to do it in fact, we stole the idea from Seattle , but are definitely now the largest city in America to do so; basically, roughly three or four times a year the Mayor's Office and the public library Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.
We're not the first city to do it in fact, we stole the idea from Seattle , but are definitely now the largest city in America to do so; basically, roughly three or four times a year the Mayor's Office and the public library system choose an important and popular book usually a 20th-century novel , stock the various libraries around the city with thousands of extra copies, host a whole series of events around the city tied to the book itself often co-sponsored by various creative and corporate organizations , and otherwise do as much as possible to convince the entire city of Chicago to read the book all at once, all in the same thirty-day period.
And when it works, it really is quite the great little experience; imagine walking around a city of four million people and constantly running across others reading the same exact book you're reading, in cafes and on the train and at discussion clubs and while waiting in line at the supermarket, and all the fun little intelligent conversations such a thing inspires among complete strangers.
And the latest OBOC choice their fourteenth is a real doozy, too; it's The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler , the last great novel by one of the most truly American writers our country has ever seen, a book both popular with the mainstream and historically important to the world of arts and letters.
And indeed, Chandler is so distinctly an American artist precisely because he both helped invent and perfect a truly American form of the arts, so-called "detective" or "crime" or "pulp" fiction, a genre which first gained popularity in the rough-and-tumble first half of the 20th century and is by now an international phenomenon and multi-billion-dollar industry.
It's the perfect genre for Americans to have latched onto, fans say, because crime fiction examines the exact dark side of the coin which pays for the American Dream as well; this idea of a truly market-driven, truly free society, whereby busting your hump and believing in yourself can legitimately get you ahead of all the other schmucks of the world, whether that's through noble activities or criminal ones.
No one is better suited than an American, the theory goes, to see the complex symbiotic nature of both these options -- the hidden dangers of capitalism, the dark seductions of crime -- and thus it is that this style of fiction is one that Americans are distinctly known for.
Now, that said, The Long Goodbye is also atypical of the usual type of work Chandler first got famous for; another detective tale to be sure, starring his usual standby antihero Philip Marlowe, but this time a wearier and more socially-conscious man than before, in a tale written late in Chandler's life in fact, just six years before his premature death. Because that's an important thing to know about Chandler, especially to understand the mystique surrounding his work and enduring popularity, is that he was a bit of a rough-and-tumble fellow himself, although unusually so; a pipe-smoking, chess-studying, erudite nerd who was nonetheless a heavy boozer and womanizer, someone who not only managed to snag a lucrative corporate executive job in the middle of the Great Depression but also lose it because of showing up to work drunk too many times in a row.
Chandler had never meant to be a full-time writer, sorta stumbled into it ass-backwards because of his vices, and was always very critical of the other things going on in his industry and the other people being published; it's because of all these things, fans claim, that Chandler writes in such a unique and distinctive style, and the fact that such stories got published at the exact moment in history they did that ended up making him so popular.
Because that's the other thing to understand about Chandler if you don't already, that along with a handful of other authors, he helped define the "smart pulp fiction" genre of the s, '40s and '50s, the same genre that spawned gangster movies, film noirs and more; so in other words, not just spectacular stories of derring-do among criminal elements, tales of which had already been getting published regularly for the lower classes since Victorian times, but also bringing a slick, Modernist style to the stories, a clean minimalism to the prose inspired by such contemporary "authentic" peers as William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and more.
Reading The Long Goodbye for the first time this week, in fact my first Chandler book ever, I can easily see why people have been going so nuts for his writing style for 75 years now and counting; because Chandler had a natural ability to get it exactly exactly right, to not underwrite his stories even a tiny bit and not overwrite them either, to bump up nearly to the edge of cheesiness at all times but to rarely ever step over.
That after all is why literally thousands of pulp-fiction projects have rightly faded into obscurity now over the last half-century, but with writers like Chandler still being chosen for programs like OBOC; because Chandler had a born mastery over the subtleties of it all that most other writers before and after him have lacked.
For those who don't know, as mentioned The Long Goodbye concerns a recurring character of Chandler's named Philip Marlowe, a private investigator from whom we now derive many of our stereotypes concerning the subject -- the shabby urban office with the frosted-glass window, the sudden appearance of dangerous dames with gams that just won't quit, the tough-as-nails sad-sack private dick who don't take no guff from nobody no how. Ugh, see how easy it is to fall into cheesy Chandleresque mannerisms?
And this is the flipside of reading Chandler anymore, of course, something you need to actively work against while reading his books if you want any chance of deeply enjoying them; it's imperative that you forget all the cultural stereotypes and cliches that have come from the world of pulp fiction, that you not immediately think of a tough-talking Humphrey Bogart while reading this but rather approach it as a contemporary reader in the s would, one who has no preconceptions about what they're getting into.
Because in many ways, a trench-coated tough-talking Bogart type is bad casting when it came to the Marlowe that Chandler originally presented to the public; his Marlowe is a lot more like the author himself, a quiet intellectual who mostly enjoyed staying at home, who talked in the clipped and gruff way he did merely because he was a borderline sociopath and nihilist, who wanted as little to do with the rest of humanity as possible.
Because man, the world that Chandler paints in The Long Goodbye is certainly not the most pleasant or optimistic one you'll ever come across; a world full of spoiled, weak little hairless apes, running around flinging their own excrement at each other and succumbing to their basest vices at the slightest provocation. And indeed, this is one of the other things this particular novel is known for, much more so than any of the other novels of Chandler's career, as being one of the first truly complex and brutally honest looks at the entire subject of alcoholism, a tortured look at the subject from an active addict who bitterly blames the moral weakness of the alcoholics as much as the disease itself.
In Chandler's world, the majority of bad things that happen to people happen because of those people's own actions and attitudes; because they are petty, because they are weak, because they are greedy, because they are spineless. Sure, occasionally a person might get framed for a murder they didn't actually commit, or other such unfair crime; but ultimately that person has been guilty of countless other sins in the past for which they were never caught, making it impossible to exactly feel bad for them when it comes to the one particular trumped-up charge.
It's a delicious milieu that Chandler creates, but for sure a bleak one, a remorseless universe that like I said is punctuated by this sparkling dialogue that at all times shines; it's very easy to see after reading this why his work caught on so dramatically in the first place, and why organizations like the Chicago Public Library are still finding it so important to bring him to people's attention.
And unlike a lot of other so-called "Important Historical Work," actually reading through The Long Goodbye never feels like some dated chore; I mean, yes, as mentioned, the dialogue has a tendency to border on cheesy, but usually stays on the good side of that line as long as you're not reading along out loud in a wiseguy New York accent. And by the way, to see an excellent example of how to present Chandleresque dialogue in a non-cheesy way, please see my review of the truly brilliant Rian Johnson contemporary high-school noir Brick.
It's a book that not only delivers a simple lurid entertainment, but also gets you thinking about a whole variety of deeper topics for days and weeks afterwards; I'm glad the OBOC people picked it for the program, and I'm looking forward to attending the various Chandler-related events going on around the city throughout the rest of April. I encourage you to pick up a copy as well, if you haven't already.
View 1 comment. Sep 13, Terry rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Chandler wrote tighter, tougher books, but this one was his masterpiece. Burnett but they didn't write like Chandler. The Long Goodbye has all the best snappy dialog and constant menace, but it had something more.
It was cynical poetry, it had the brittleness and immediacy of the "existential", as we used to call it.
It had a thoroughly adult, disillusioned worldview but it also had a hero who refused to renounce his principles, even when h Chandler wrote tighter, tougher books, but this one was his masterpiece. It had a thoroughly adult, disillusioned worldview but it also had a hero who refused to renounce his principles, even when his principles brought him nothing but grief.
Marlowe's loyalty and friendship are wasted on the unworthy Terry Lennox. His best efforts are for naught on the blocked writer Roger Wade. His attractions are wasted on Wade's guileful wife.
All the little details of the book added to its luster. And the lyrical, cynical passages about L. And it's true about the book being semi-autobiographical. The alcoholic, blocked writer Roger Wade is Chandler. Never a prolific author, we're all glad Chandler got this one written. View 2 comments. Per Marlowe molto, tanto da spingerlo a immischiarsi in faccende pericolose, mettendosi in gioco seriamente, pur di salvaguardarla.
Slightly spoiled by having fallen for Elliot Gould in Leigh Brackett's adaptation, The Long Goodbye is still an overwhelmingly impressive piece of dark literature. When people talk about Chandler's influence on crime fiction it's always in reference to his hardboiled dialogue, his similes and metaphors but in reading this final entry in the Marlowe series you can draw a long powerful line from Chandler through Crumley, Sallis and Block, to name only three, writers who have taken the mantle of wr Slightly spoiled by having fallen for Elliot Gould in Leigh Brackett's adaptation, The Long Goodbye is still an overwhelmingly impressive piece of dark literature.
When people talk about Chandler's influence on crime fiction it's always in reference to his hardboiled dialogue, his similes and metaphors but in reading this final entry in the Marlowe series you can draw a long powerful line from Chandler through Crumley, Sallis and Block, to name only three, writers who have taken the mantle of writing about society through the eyes of a worn out private detective, it's harsh and bleak and powerfully written and still its packed with wicked dialogue and smart-aleck observations.
View all 7 comments. A single reading easily affirms that. A rereading, which brings with it a foreknowledge of events and the ability to consider all its far-reaching elements collectively, creates a corollary to that longstanding assertion: There are several structural flaws, though each can be quelled with the same irrefutable response.
For example: The answer: When something finally happens and after its immediate consequences are faced, we move on to another case--an actual case--with no connection to Lenox or anything that had come before; why should we believe this book will end up with anything resembling a coherent story? The Marlowe part of the answer is important. MacDonald created a character named Travis McGee, through whom he could comment on cultural and environmental matters.
One of the ironies of The Long Goodbye is that Chandler puts most of his observations into the mouths of other characters. That would be a problem if Phillip Marlowe were merely a mouthpiece.
Writing The Long Goodbye
At his core he is, as he has always been, the moral center of any situation, any group, any environment. The most obvious example here is an instance where Marlowe lets himself be put in a torturous situation that seemed avoidable. Bernie Ohls could not remain untarnished. And he is aware of it on some level as he stands next to Marlowe. Their failure was inevitable.
Is there any doubt as to why? Queer Eye for the Private Eye "People have such queer ideas about private detectives. I never promised you a miracle What you desired was a guarantee.
Nothing in this world's invincible No one's heart is made of stone Now I know I'm yours in principle I'm the one thing you'll never own. It only took a glass or two of bourbon Or were they gimlets? If I promise you infinity There's so much more to share with you Did you expect the holy trinity In all I say and all that I do?
It's not emotional extravagance We said farewell a thousand times Why pretend there'll be a second chance Unless this last kiss changes your mind? If you can live your life without me Turn and walk away Minutes turn to hours Hours turn to days If you can't stand a single moment Then go but kiss me goodbye.
View all 13 comments. Nov 12, Jeanette rated it it was amazing. This knocked my socks off. I've read some of his others and they were good.
This one is excellent. Not only does it get the language and mores of a certain place and time, but doubles down on the core self-identities of at least 4 different people. Philip Marlowe being just one of the soul captured. Post-war and high detachment times in both moneyed and shoddy surroundings. But despite the unstudied language and the earthy emotional and visual overloads, the pure clean regard of man to man's "ess This knocked my socks off.
But despite the unstudied language and the earthy emotional and visual overloads, the pure clean regard of man to man's "essence" comes through completely. There is no trouble for that stream despite very little truth telling in translation between Marlowe and Lennox.
My radar surmised the perp before the book reveal, but just before. And was this "ahead of its era" in the copper dissing mode or what! They parleyed like Dragnet in parts but they sure certainly didn't deal consequence the same. For those of you who even know what Dragnet was.
This also has layers. With the crust of high elegance covering a seeping, teeming underlay of both stale disdain and putrefying long term soggy wounds. Marlowe is also even more rude, self-involved and most often uncaring than usual in the all around, but at his most intimate to connection here at the same time. Much more than in his other escapades, IMHO. Almost like a "Band of Brothers" thing going on. Not often, but with such intensity that nearly all else became "the others". Well, I am certainly going to read Little Sister and the others I'd missed now.
Last thought that I couldn't get out of my mind all throughout the last third of the book! How the juxtaposition of today's nearly opinion of men's sexual advance and women's role in the workplace for sexual alliances when it occurs. How that has been earthquake altered into such a crooked set of "eyes". Seeing so many women in business of all levels from the factory warehouse line to the high Loop CEO offices in the 's and 's myself!
How they played the aggressive role, not every time for sure but quite often. And how now in a kind of Roundhead Cromwell kind of calling out, the power monger is always slated as the nasty testosterone flawed man side of being the user! What blindness to a recognition in their being reverse directions to the dance. So much so as it has occurred in past reality especially, in order to obscure one and demonize the other while in the same sweep also judging and sentencing by rote while using the standards of one era for censure and outcomes in another!
View all 6 comments. Mar 10, Carla Remy rated it it was amazing Shelves: I didn't remember much, I never do after one reading of Chandler. My reaction to it now is that it is extraordinarily long. It really takes its time and unpacks Marlowe's life, and it is a good book, but lengthy. I like this, the Big Sleep and the Lady in the Lake. And I have read all those twice. I've read the High Window only once, so I will have to read it again.
And then He has three other books I have not read. I have goals! I usually don't watch a movie if I want to read the book it's adapted from, but this was an exception, as I've seen the Altman version 3 times at least. It's irreverent and very Altman, and Elliot Gould is the best Marlowe ever. However they of course changed so much that it didn't detract from the book. It gave away the ending, but didn't capture the mystery itself.
I thought it was one of Chandler's best. I liked Marlowe's observations, and his maturity.
View all 5 comments. Jul 26, David Gustafson rated it it was amazing. Outside of a 's Hollywood nightclub, a congenial drunk falls out of a Rolls Royce and his lady friend drives away leaving him on the pavement. Surprisingly, Raymond Chandler's alter ego, the cynical, private detective Philip Marlowe, picks the lad up and takes him to his home to sober him up.
Within the first few pages the window has been opened from the stifling, antiseptic culture of political correctness that is suffocating us today and the reader encounters a refreshing noir breeze from Outside of a 's Hollywood nightclub, a congenial drunk falls out of a Rolls Royce and his lady friend drives away leaving him on the pavement.
Within the first few pages the window has been opened from the stifling, antiseptic culture of political correctness that is suffocating us today and the reader encounters a refreshing noir breeze from a writer who is not afraid to step on someone's toes or kick them in the shins with a little smack mouth: He's housebroken - more or less.
How sentimental of him. That's where we were married. I don't read those often, only when I run out of things to dislike. The drunk is Terry Lennox. The lady is his ex-wife, daughter of a multi-millionaire, reclusive newspaper tycoon. Marlowe helps the badly wounded war veteran make his way to Las Vegas for a fresh start in life where a wartime buddy will give him a job.
Shortly thereafter, he gets a letter from Lennox saying that he and his wife have not only reconciled, but have remarried. A casual friendship develops upon his return. Marlowe feels sorry for the war hero who is little more than a kept man to cover up his wife's promiscuous lifestyle from the gossip columns and her strict father.
Late one night, Lennox shows up at Marlowe's door begging for a ride to Tijuana where he can catch a flight deeper into rural Mexico. He has to get away. His wife has been murdered. Marlowe complies and is no sooner back home than he is taken into custody to be repeatedly beaten and interrogated by the cops. He says nothing and is finally released after Lennox allegedly commits suicide in Mexico after leaving behind a confession.
The Long Goodbye
Shortly after Lennox is buried in Mexico, Marlowe is threatened by the cops, the family's attorney, the District Attorney's office as well as a gangster who shared a foxhole with Lennox in Europe, to keep well away from any further inquiry into this matter. Lennox is dead and buried and the case is closed.
Life goes on. Marlowe is finally distracted from his friend's death when the publisher of a best-selling author wants to hire him to find out if his writer is being blackmailed for something from his past since he has gone on a violent drinking binge and cannot finish his latest pulp masterpiece.
It is not about the novelist's contribution to mankind. The publisher needs the cash flow. Marlowe is reluctant to take this case which sounds like little more than "intervention" until the author's drop-dead, gorgeous wife gets him aside and explains that not only is her husband a violent drunk, but he has been missing for three days. Will Marlowe please find him? The prescient crime reader will intuit that this new assignment will somehow lead back to Terry Lennox's bludgeoned wife.
Just do not expect a straight line across the pages to finger the real murderer. That would take all the fun out of this jaunty noir romp through's Hollywood. Chandler's character etchings are as indelible as his smack mouth language. From cops with varying degrees of violence and inferiority to equally violent gangsters with a touch more of class, from the comfortable, cocktail party carriage trade lacking every component of class except oodles of money to their sultry wives bearing every shade of guile and adultery, from shyster doctors preying on the sick, the vulnerable and the elderly to everyday folks just trying to make a buck before heading home and popping a cold beer, Chandler populates his novels with an aquarium full of colorful, shimmering, unforgettable species.
Let me sprinkle a few more quotes into the aquarium: Why don't you see a good doctor? And from the femme fatales: But when I find it, I don't want it anymore. I'm no bargain to anyone. There are not many such surprises left on this side of glory.
Bonjour amigos, David Gustafson Las Vegas Sep 03, Brandon rated it it was amazing Shelves: The tragedy of life … is not that the beautiful things die young, but that they grow old and mean.
With those rather shady circumstances still hazing over his head, Marlowe is approached by a publisher asking for his assistance in figuring out just what exactly is throwing their prized writer off his rocker. Are the two cases connected? Is Marlowe in over his head? Chandler wrote The Long Goodbye during a very difficult time in his life. His wife was terminally ill and he was suffering from bouts of depression and alcohol abuse.
He used them to express his innermost thoughts on the state of society, his frustrations as a writer and his internal struggle with whether or not he should commit suicide.
At heart, both Chandler and Marlowe are very cynical people and Marlowe literally offends every person he comes into contact with. Also posted Every Read Thing. Oct 15, Julie Christine rated it it was amazing Shelves: Twenty-three words that set up a story with precision and punch.
The Long Goodbye Reader’s Guide
This sentence is why I decided to read my first Raymond Chandler. Philip Marlowe, the embittered, enigmatic private eye; the long-limbed blonde, elegant, cunning and in need of rescue; the corrupt and bru The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers.
Philip Marlowe, the embittered, enigmatic private eye; the long-limbed blonde, elegant, cunning and in need of rescue; the corrupt and brutal criminal justice system; tawdry Los Angeles, emerging from World War II to become the symbol of American excess.
I expected heavy drinking, snappy dialogue and dames in mink stoles. I also expected a dated and a bit quaint feel to the style, story and substance of the plot. I was spot-on with the former, dead wrong with the latter.
From the opening sentence, this is as fresh and cruel as any novel I have read by a contemporary writer, mystery or not. It may be helpful to know that two characters in The Long Goodbye , a drunk writer losing his touch and a war vet losing his mind, are stand-ins for the writer himself. Chandler wrote this novel while his wife was dying. He had already succumbed to alcoholism and fought profound depression. It also gave me a serious jones for gimlets: It beats martinis hollow.
Chandler, that is. Go easy on the gin. View all 3 comments. A powerful tale of bitterness and anger and pain , of Chandler putting his Marlowe on a suicide mission, a story of horrific collateral damage without redemption, and of the betrayal of unwise love. The prose gets darker and darker, almost ranting at points, painful and despondent about modern life, particularly in L.
His wife, 17 years his senior, was going through terrible health problems at A powerful tale of bitterness and anger and pain , of Chandler putting his Marlowe on a suicide mission, a story of horrific collateral damage without redemption, and of the betrayal of unwise love. His wife, 17 years his senior, was going through terrible health problems at the time and died shortly after publication of this book.
From Wikipedia: Cissy Chandler died in , after a long illness. Heartbroken and drunk, Chandler neglected to inter her cremated remains, and they sat for 57 years in a storage locker in the basement of Cypress View Mausoleum. After Cissy's death, Chandler's loneliness worsened his propensity for clinical depression; he returned to drinking alcohol, never quitting it for long, and the quality and quantity of his writing suffered.
In , he attempted suicide She was the beat of my heart for thirty years. She was the music heard faintly at the edge of sound. The pacing and prose picks up while becoming overly complex, as usual for Chandler. Note that every song played in the movie is a different version of The Long Goodbye, on the radio often, hummed by the cast now and then, and even the corny horny Mexican funeral march.
What does Marlowe see in Terry? I'm sure that most of us would be keeping our distance. I think the answer is in the fundamental loneliness of Marlowe's life. We've seen him tentatively fall for various femmes and some fatales in previous books. He was so drawn to Mavis Weld, and so heroically lost to her best interests, so paralysed and helpless as her life moves on.
Marlowe has no real friends But Terry's hopelessness is safer than Weld's. Perhaps this mirrors Chandlers needs in real life? In chapter 13 we see a run of casual racism and misogyny in Marlowe's thoughts, and feel a certain bitterness in Chandler's prose. There are serious things wrong in Chandler's real life at this time. Very sad. Terry's car: Classic Jupiter-Jowett Terry says: It's no real fun but the rich don't know that.
They never had any. They never want anything very hard except maybe somebody else's wife and that's a pretty pale desire compared with the way a plumber's wife wants new curtains for the living room. After that you take the girl's dothes off. Mauser 7. Six months later he was indicted for perjury before a grand jury, booted without trial, and later stamped to death by a big stallion on his ranch in Wyoming.
Nothing's changed then Guys with a hundred million dollars live a peculiar life, behind a screen of servants, bodyguards, secretaries, lawyers, and tame executives. Presumably they eat, sleep, get their hair cut, and wear clothes. But you never know for sure.
Everything you read or hear about them has been processed by a public relations gang of guys who are paid big money to create and maintain a usable personality, something simple and dean and sharp, like a sterilized needle.
It doesn't have to be true. It just has to be consistent with the known facts, and the known facts you could count on your fingers.
Eileen Wade's car: His wise-cracks are turning mean, but the real intent is to punish himself. Very powerful and sad: Something inside me had gone sour. None of it really belonged to me.
What was it supposed to buy? How much loyalty can a dead man use? I was looking at life through the mists of a hangover. Twenty-four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes, people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were hungry, sick, bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs.
The tragedy of life is not that the beautiful things die young, but that they grow old and mean. We're a big rough rich wild people and crime is the price we pay for it, and organized crime is the price we pay for organization. We'll have it with us a long time. Mild, non-plot spoiler: A paragraph here is significant: Often the opening, the mise en scene, the establishment of the background, is very good.
Then the plot thickens and the people become mere names. Well, what can you do to avoid this? You can write constant action and that is fine if you really enjoy it. But alas, one grows up, one becomes complicated and unsure, one becomes interested in moral dilemmas, rather than who cracked who on the head.
And at that point one should retire and leave the field to younger and more simple men. I'm not sure Chandler is well at this point in his life. There is an undercurrent of unhappy sarcasm at times in his prose here.
Everyone has them. Days when nobody rolls in, but the loose wheels, the dingoes who park their brains with their gum, the squirrels who can't find their nuts, the mechanics who always have a gear wheel left over. Poor Marlowe. So lonely and becoming bitter. Marlowe's bitterness and self-loathing are more apparent now. View all 11 comments. Feb 04, Francisco added it. I like Mystery novels that are literary. I know the term "literary" is broad and hazy but let's just say that literary is a special attention that is given to the language and to the characters, and this is in addition to the creation of suspense.
One of the little pleasures of life is picking a book at an airport because you have four sleepless hours ahead of you and discovering soon after take-off that the book you thought would be easy fun is making you feel and think and pause to re-read tha I like Mystery novels that are literary.
One of the little pleasures of life is picking a book at an airport because you have four sleepless hours ahead of you and discovering soon after take-off that the book you thought would be easy fun is making you feel and think and pause to re-read that sentence again. Or maybe the author whacks you with an unpretentious metaphor that clears your brain like a shot of mental antihistamine. Raymond Chandler died in and it is the rare airport gift shop that has any of his books.
I went and looked for his books and, in particular this one, because I wanted to read one of the early masters of the genre. I wanted to see if there was some kind of essential structure to the mystery novel that the current writers that I like follow. There are certain commonalities that great mystery novels follow and looking at the authors who developed those structures is very helpful. If you are interested in seeing what these "structures" are I recommend the book Writing Mysteries, edited by Sue Grafton.
But here I want to write, not about the essential style and structure of the genre that I found in Chandler, but about a kind of philosophical underpinning that makes this book great and which I think is also found in the greatest mystery writers. In this story you will find a kind of very human detective the anti-hero in many ways who has one good quality going for him. He wants to find the truth. When everyone is satisfied with the appearance of truth, he is not.
When no one cares for the truth anymore, he still does. If the truth is painful to himself and others , it doesn't matter. When the person that was killed was not of much value to society, he still believes finding the person who snuffed out that poor and miserable life, is worthwhile.
The motive for this pursuit is not religious or ethical or patriotic. Most often than not the pursuit of truth seems to be the only thing that is holding the detective from giving up on himself and on life. It was Chandler, in this book, that helped me to discover why I like these "literary" mystery books. There's something about seeing Marlowe, and his detective friends, pursue and desire truth that gives me strength and some kind of faith and yes, a little courage.
Maybe because watching the news with each channel offering a different version, or listening to politicians who, at best offer only partial views of the whole truth, leaves me impoverished and sad. Here in this well written work, there is solace to be found and a reminder that the truth exists and can be searched for and often found.
Nov 16, AC rated it it was amazing Shelves: What follows, of course, is just my generally worthless opinion. It's a perfect specimen. His next book, Little Sister, though good, ran into trouble see my review.
It was somewhat deeper, more ambitious, a little literary It was a crisi What follows, of course, is just my generally worthless opinion. It was a crisis of middle age, and the seams showed.
In the Long Goodbye, Chandler solved the problem by putting the aging alcoholic self into other characters -- and that then left him free to treat Marlowe now 42 from a more objective point of view. And the result, though not as taut as a genre-piece, is a fine, deep, sad, piece of literature: Raymond Chandler's Long Goodbye. He died, from alcoholism, a few years later. But he was a fine and important 20th century American writer, who anticipated without pretense, and without any prompous literary shennanigans, much of the sorrow of what would prove to be the early stages of our moral and material decay.
The contrast with the hopefulness of his early novels, when he describes an L. Sep 13, Paul E. Apparently, Chandler regarded this as his best book and I can see why.
Two of the characters, Terry Lennox an alcoholic war veteran and Roger Wade an alcoholic author , are clearly proxies for Chandler himself. This, to me at least, makes this book the most personal of the series. He speaks through these characters, not only via their dialogue and actions but also by th Apparently, Chandler regarded this as his best book and I can see why. He speaks through these characters, not only via their dialogue and actions but also by the way other characters talk about them.
Interestingly, view spoiler [Chandler chooses to kill both these characters off during the course of the book hide spoiler ]. I found this novel to be like a Marlowe novel turned up to eleven.
As such, I enjoyed it more too and found it more touching. In hindsight, that makes perfect sense. The French have a phrase for it. The bastards have a phrase for everything and they are always right. Jul 25, Nathan Alderman rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Chandler's unabashed masterpiece, this novel is his only work to truly transcend the pulp genre and rank as first-rate literature. All of Chandler's books have gorgeous language and bafflingly labyrinthine plots, but this one stands out because of the author's poignant willingness to stare into his own soul.
His stalwart, incorruptible hero Marlowe is hired to guard a washed-up, alcoholic, self-loathing writer who derides his own work as trash, and it's hard not to see the troubled Raymond Chand Chandler's unabashed masterpiece, this novel is his only work to truly transcend the pulp genre and rank as first-rate literature. His stalwart, incorruptible hero Marlowe is hired to guard a washed-up, alcoholic, self-loathing writer who derides his own work as trash, and it's hard not to see the troubled Raymond Chandler in that character.
This was the second-to-last Marlowe novel Chandler ever completed, and there's a forlorn air of melancholy around the whole thing. It's the best American detective novel, bar none, and the literary equivalent of an Edward Hopper painting. The Long Goodbye 2 8 Feb 01, Readers also enjoyed. About Raymond Chandler.
Raymond Chandler. Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter. In , at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine.
His first novel, The Big Sleep , was published in In Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. All but Playback have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America.
He died on March 26, , in La Jolla, California. Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M.
Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Chandler's Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, are considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective," both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.
Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key , published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".
Other books in the series. Philip Marlowe 1 - 10 of 11 books. Books by Raymond Chandler. Trivia About The Long Goodbye Quotes from The Long Goodbye. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Reading The Long Goodbye. So we have Marlowe getting close to two people, where no such closeness was evident in earlier adventures of this lone knight riding down the dark streets of LA, the city of fallen angels. The relationship with Lennox does not develop, and there is only a hint that the relationship with Loring may develop.
It is intriguing to wonder how Chandler might have played with the idea of a lonely man in a committed relationship, had death not cut his efforts short. I think that Chandler was largely played out when he got to this novel, and that he envisioned The Long Goodbye as the title suggests as his own farewell to the genre. But Linda Loring seems to give the cynical Marlowe, vulnerable and wounded, hope for the future, and perhaps her relationship with Marlowe would have turned the tide for Chandler.
It was only with the help of Robert B. Philip Marlowe come to life. Even late Marlowe such as this retains some of the vinegary bite of the early stuff. Marlowe, in two separate passages takes aim at modern symphonic music and its aficionados. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. I was walking the floor listening to Khachaturyan working in a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it.
Some say that The Long Goodbye is too loosely constructed, and too sentimental, and they may be right. But Chandler was never much for tight plotting, but could scarcely be beat in setting up a scene and for the crispness of his language, an ability he still demonstrates in the penultimate work of his career. Bernard Norcott-Mahany , a library technical assistant at the Lucile H.
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Ralph Steadman:The tragedy of life … is not that the beautiful things die young, but that they grow old and mean. Is this a device to heighten suspense, a distinctive Chandler style? Bottom line: Raymond Chandler can definitely see it, and shows it to the rest of us in a way that leaves us craving more.
How important is setting in each of these novels? Product details Mass Market Paperback: